I have the following as a booklet, which, from time to time I read in order to set right my prayer life. Like many Christians the greatest lack I have is a disciple prayer life. J.C. Ryle writes:
This is a very abridged version
I have a question to offer you. It is contained in three words, DO YOU PRAY?
The question is one that none but you can answer. Whether you attend public worship or not, your minister knows. Whether you have family prayers in your house or not, your relations know. But whether you pray in private or not, is a matter between yourself and God.
I beseech you in all affection to attend to the subject I bring before you. Do not say that my question is too close. If your heart is right in the sight of God, there is nothing in it to make you afraid. Do not turn off my question by replying that you say your prayers. It is one thing to say your prayers and another to pray. Do not tell me that my question is unnecessary. Listen to me for a few minutes, and I will show you good reasons for asking it.
I ask whether you pray, because prayer is absolutely needful to a man's salvation.
I say, absolutely needful, and I say so advisedly. I am not speaking now of infants or idiots. I am not settling the state of the heathen. I know that where little is given, there little will be required. I speak especially of those who call themselves Christians, in a land like our own. And of such I say, no man or woman can expect to be saved who does not pray.
To be prayerless is to be without God, without Christ, without grace, without hope, and without heaven. It is to be on the road to hell. Now can you wonder that I ask the question, Do you pray?
I ask again whether you pray, because a habit of prayer is one of the surest marks of a true Christian.
But where will the man hide his head at last who neglects such glorious encouragements? What can possibly be said for the man who, after all, dies without prayer? Surely I may feel anxious that you should not be that man. Surely I may well ask - Do you pray?
I ask whether you pray, because diligence in prayer is the secret of eminent holiness:
I commend to you the importance of making prayer a regular business of life.
I commend to you the importance of perseverance in prayer.
I commend to you the importance of earnestness in prayer.
I commend to you the importance of praying with faith.
I commend to you the importance of boldness in prayer.
I commend to you the importance of fullness in prayer.
I commend to you the importance of particularity in prayer.
I commend to you the importance of intercession in our prayers.
I commend to you the importance of thankfulness in prayer.
I commend to you the importance of watchfulness over your prayers.
I offer these points for your private consideration. I do it in all humility. I know no one who needs to be reminded of them more than I do myself. But I believe them to be God's own truth, and I desire myself and all I love to feel them more.
I want the times we live in to be praying times. I want the Christians of our day to be praying Christians. I want the church to be a praying church. My heart's desire and prayer in sending forth this tract is to promote a spirit of prayerfulness. I want those who never prayed yet, to arise and call upon God, and I want those who do pray, to see that they are not praying amiss
A full version is on this website: A Call to Prayer
A gender inclusive version is available at:
< http://www.gracegems.org/SERMONS/call_to_prayer.htm >