The Heart of Prayer


“It is one thing to say your prayers and another to pray.”[1] – J.C. Ryle
J.C. Ryle issues a stern warning in his book A Call to Prayer. He says, “Words said without heart are as utterly useless to our souls as the drum beating of the poor heathen before their idols. Where there is no heart, there may be lip work and tongue work, but there is nothing that God listens to; there is no prayer.”[2]

What is preventing you from praying from your heart? Is there sin in your life you need to deal with? Are you praying just as religious duty, or in an attempt to placate God, or “work” your way to heaven? Is there something you have against a brother or sister that you need to deal with?

Whatever that barrier is, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you, and ask Him to help you remove the obstacle so that your prayers will ascend to the One who sits on high, eagerly waiting to hear from you.

“May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” (Psa. 141:2)

Go Deeper

[1] J. C. Ryle: A Call to Prayer (Original Edition) (Classic Prayer Books Book 1), p. 3.

[2] Ibid., p. 8.

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