God has provided us with powerful encouragements to prayer (writes J.C. Ryle in Practical Religion).
We have a way opened up for us by Jesus Christ. ‘The name of Jesus is a never-failing passport to our prayers. In that name a man may draw near to God with boldness, and ask with confidence. God has engaged to hear him.’
We have an advocate and intercessor presenting out prayers to the throne of grace.
The term ‘union with Christ’ sums up the relationship between Christ and his people.
The church has understood this in various ways.
1. Incarnational union. This view, which was held my many of the early Fathers and continues to be held in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, is that in incarnation God in Christ became one with us in order to make us one with him. He took on our human nature in so that we might partake in his divine nature. …
The next section of Tim Chester’s book, Do Miracles Happen Today? that I would like to summarise is that part of chapter 5 which deals with ‘miracles and the purposes of faith.’
Chester believers (with John Stott) that miracles are certainly possible, but not as common as they were in, say that time of Jesus and the apostles, because one of the main purposes for miracles – attesting to God’s unfolding revelation – no longer applies.…
Chapter 6 Second Objection to Prayer: Having no Place in a Government of Law
This objection may be thus stated: ‘As God governs the universe by determinate and fixed laws, there is no place in such a system for prayer; which is without significance, in that it demands continual intervention in the mechanism of nature.’
We are not obliged to show how or why prayer articulates itself in the government of God, but only to investigate the claim that prayer cannot have a place in that government.…
Chapter 5 Objections to Prayer: 1st, an Impeachment of the Divine Perfections
Once the duty of prayer has been established in its own right, no number of objections can militate decisively against it. ‘Truth is not to be weighed in a pair of scales balancing duty against difficulty, as though one can be cancelled by
the other; for no positive duty can be dislodged, until the evidence on which it rests shall be itself swept away.’…