A Breath of Prayer

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Here are a few of my favorite quotes that inspire and lead me to pray.

A few … I did say a few. Do you have any idea how difficult it was to shave down this list to only a few?

“Next to the wonder of seeing my Savior will be, I think, that I made so little use of the power of prayer.” – D. L. Moody

“Pray often; for it is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” – John Bunyan

“Satan dreads nothing but prayer. Activities are multiplied that prayer may be ousted, and organizations are increased that prayer may have no chance. The concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” – Samuel Chadwick

“As a man prays, so is he.” – A.W. Tozer

Now my two cents:   “You are my God Who enables me to pray; Who urges me to pray; calls and draws me to Himself to pray; Who hears my prayer; delights in my prayer; and the God who answers my prayer. You, O’ God, are the beginning and the end of prayer.”


Two great definitions of prayer–one from Scripture, one a quote. Both from men who prayed to live and lived to pray:

 1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my meditation. 2 Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. 3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up. Psalm 5:1–3 (NKJV)

You may not think of this as a definition of prayer, but chew on it for a long time. Study it with the intellect and the heart. Then pray it.

From the Puritan Pastor, John Bunyan:

“Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God hath promised, or according to the Word, for the good of the church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God.”


What are yours?


My Wretched Heart

Nope, the poem below is not written by an ax murderer serving a life sentence in the State Penitentiary. And no, she’s not even serving 1/2 a life sentence for drinking a 20 ounce soda in NYC.


Poem by Kathi Miles

I stood with hands uplifted high
Singing out the songs
Praising God with all my heart
For all that He has done
And as I sang the Lord began
To lovingly impart
A crystal clear depiction
Of my wretched heart
I saw as in a movie
My motives and my thoughts
I saw the sin beneath my deeds
The ones I do for God
I saw the pride behind my words
The need for all to see
The good that I was doing
It was an ugly scene
And in that awful moment
Broken from within
I hung my head in sadness
At the depth of all my sin
For I had never doubted
My own need to be saved
And yet somehow I always felt
That my sins were okay
But God loved me too much
To let me think that I could stand
Before His throne with anything
But His blood on my hands
And then I felt His presence
In that very place
I saw the cross before me
And my sweet Redeemer’s face
Forgiveness filled my heart anew
This captive was set free
For God so loved the world He gave
His only Son….for me


So if she’s not one of those social (church) outcasts that we don’t like to sit next to on Sunday mornings, then what kind of person would write such a poem? What a great question for you to read.

She is a Bible School graduate, mother of three, song writer, and leads worship at her local church. Who is she? A believer who recognizes her ongoing desperate dependence upon the Savior Jesus Christ. Like the rest of us, she is no more self-righteous before God than before Christ saved her. Like the rest of us, she is a wretched sinner who will always rely 100% upon the person and work of Jesus Christ. She is a child of God only because of God.

You might wonder the condition of her self-esteem with this self-perspective. She’s learning that she doesn’t need any, self-esteem that is. Self-perspective is a good thing when it’s through the lens of Biblical doctrine. Her confidence and image of herself is purely from her heavenly Father. She is learning that what He says about her is all that matters.

How about you? How much value do you put in what others say about you, or what you think about yourself in comparison to what the Father says about you In Christ Jesus?

Do you see yourself as needing the Gospel today as much as you did at conversion? The Apostle Paul did. You know the Scriptures in Romans 7 where he admitted that he is just like the rest of us–battling the sin nature within. He was doing things that he shouldn’t do and not doing the things that he should do. Then he gives us the great confession of Romans 7:24-25:

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! (NKJV)

We also have the Apostle John reminding us that we still need Jesus’ present ministry of Advocate & Propitiation:

1 John 2:1 -2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (NKJV)

Last Word

If you aren’t familiar with the principle doctrine of Total Depravity, I challenge you to research and learn this powerful truth. It is liberating and wholly Christ exalting. It is because we are totally depraved and unable to lift even a fingernail for our own rescue (or anyone’s rescue from spiritual death), that Jesus came and died, and arose, and remains our propitiation. It is because my entire righteousness is from Him that I don’t have to sweat it, worry about it, fear that I’m not going to be good enough, or that I’ll miss the mark and let Him down. All of those things are already a sure bet! It’s back to the Gospel, where I’ll stay. Hidden and clothed under the blood of my Savior.