Posted by: rcottrill | July 9, 2018

Teach Me to Pray

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Albert Simpson Reitz (b. Jan. 20, 1879; d. Nov. 1, 1966)
Music: Albert Simpson Reitz

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal (Albert Reitz)

Note: Reitz served churches in Wisconsin and California. He also wrote over a hundred gospel songs, including ‘Twas a Glad Day When Jesus Found Me. Back in 1926, Pastor Reitz called for a Day of Prayer at his Los Angeles church (Rosehill Baptist Church). He reported:

“From early morning until late at night we prayed, and God definitely made His presence real to us. The next morning, still under the influence of the spirit of prayer and intercession, I wrote [the hymn] Teach Us to Pray.

Name dropping is the practice of mentioning a famous person in conversation, often in a seemingly casual and offhand way. “As Prime Minister Trudeau said to me the other day…” Or, when I had lunch with Wayne Gretzky last week…”

Sometimes it’s done to mask feelings of inferiority and inflate the speaker’s ego, by basking in the aura of greatness that seems to surround prominent people. Or it may be a strategy to make an impression on others, in order to gain acceptance in the social circle of those we deem to be above us. Or it may involve an appeal to power and wealth, a way to gain special favours or financial help for some project.

Speaking of myself, through more than seven decades of life, I’ve had occasion to meet a number of prominent people–a member of the Canadian parliament, a British comedienne, a well-known broadcaster, singers, authors, athletes, college presidents, and wonderful saints of God–though the latter didn’t think of themselves as anything special.

Most of these meetings were interesting, but they add no particular lustre to me. They were unsought encounters that circumstances brought my way. However there’s an incredible meeting I had that’s important to me beyond all the rest: I talked with God this morning. Again, that doesn’t make me special, since millions across the world did the same thing. But next to it all other meetings pale utterly.

“Know that the LORD [Jehovah], He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Ps. 100:3).

Do we ever think of prayer as a rendezvous with our Creator, Almighty God, the Ruler of all? And do we appreciate that it’s only because of Christ’s Calvary work that this meeting is possible? We can have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us” (Heb. 10:19-20).

We discover that the Lord not only welcomes us (Heb. 4:14-16), but listens to us, responding in the wisest way, according to His will (I Jn. 5:14). Not only that, He desires our fellowship so intensely He has provided for us to spend eternity with Him (Jn. 14:2-3; 17:24). If this is not enough to drive us ardently to the place of prayer (and it should be!), we can also find personal value in it for our everyday lives.

In spiritual terms, all our endeavours ought to be bathed in prayer. If we feel too busy to pray, perhaps that’s the very time when it’s needed most. Handley Moule, the evangelical Bishop of Durham (1841-1920), wrote:

“A prayerful life is always a powerful life; a prayerless life is always a powerless life…but how slow we are to believe that.”

Have we truly learned the humbling grandeur of prayer? Have we learned to live in a spirit of prayer, so that at any moment we can lift a note of praise or an urgent appeal heavenward? Have we learned the power of intercession, as we bring the needs of others to the throne of grace, and see God work in their lives?

If we sense a lack in our prayer life, perhaps a fitting prayer would be, with the disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk. 11:1).

1) Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray;
This is my heart-cry day unto day;
I long to know Thy will and Thy way;
Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray.

Living in Thee, Lord, and Thou in me,
Constant abiding, this is my plea;
Grant me Thy power, boundless and free,
Power with men and power with Thee.

2) Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
Here ‘mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
O give me power, power in prayer!

1) What are three things for which you praise God today?

2) What are three things currently on your regular prayer list that you are asking God for?

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal (Albert Reitz)


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