And he told them a parable to the effect that they oughtalways to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1
When we pray to our Father, heaven cannot be blocked up. In faith, though we may not yet have the thing we pray for, we believe God will grant it, and we are willing to wait for his leisure. If we have no answer, we may continue to knock knowing an answer will come. A believer lets down the net of prayer until mercy comes. Patience in prayer is nothing but faith spun out. God is both ready to hear and grant our prayers (Psa. 65:2). He may hear prayer though he does not immediately answer it. When he gives us a heart to pray, and inflames the affections in prayer, this itself is an answer to prayer. Consider too, that we do not pray alone. Christ prays our prayers over again. He takes the dross out of our prayers, and presents nothing to the Father but pure gold. He mingles his sweet odours with the prayers of the saints. Think of the dignity of his person – he is God; and the sweetness of his relation – he is a Son. O what encouragement is here to pray in faith! Consider also the many sweet promises God has made to prayer. God has bound himself to us by his promises. Then consider that Jesus Christ has purchased that which we pray for. We may think that the things we ask for are too great for us to obtain, but they are not too great for Christ to purchase. This should put life into out prayers, and make us pray in faith. Though the things we ask for are more than we deserve, they are not more than Christ has purchased for us. Consider too, that God often exceeds the prayers of his people and gives more than we ask. Jacob prayed for food and clothing, but God increased his staff into two companies. Prayer has opened prison doors. It has strangled the plots of the enemy, and routed their forces. Moses’ prayer did more than Joshua’s sword. Does this not encourage us to pray in faith?
Over the past fifty years there has been a great resurgence of interest in the writings of the Puritans. The reading of their works has brought great benefit to the people of God in many lands. Christians from many different backgrounds and cultures owe a great debt of gratitude to those faithful pastors and preachers who continue to speak through their writings even though they have long since entered into their heavenly reward. The Puritans really knew how to teach and apply God’s Word in the Spirit’s power!
Richard Rushing has compiled this book of daily devotional readings from his favorite Puritan authors because of the great help he has gained from their works. “How thrilling it has been for me to read the Puritans on the glory and attributes of God, divine providence, fellowship with God, holiness of life and the mortification of indwelling sin, heavenly mindedness, prayer, evangelistic zeal, and trust in the Lord during times of affliction. At every turn these truths are eloquently taught, faithfully applied, and kindly offered as the subject of sweet spiritual meditation.”
This book is sent forth with the prayer that it will open a door to the vast stores of treasure to be found in the writings of the Puritans and that it will stimulate further exploration of this rich spiritual inheritance.