Prayer, The Master Key to Profitable Bible Study, Part 2

Psalm 19:18
       Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): As God will be inquired of for blessings, it becomes him to seek God’s blessing previous to reading, and also, while reading.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): Intersperse short ejaculations whilst you are engaged in reading; pray over every word and verse, if possible.

CHARLES BRIDGES (1794-1869): Every verse read and meditated on furnishes material for prayer. Every text prayed over opens a mine of “unsearchable riches,” with a light from above, more clear and full than the most intelligent exposition.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): You will frequently find fresh streams of thought leaping up from the passage before you, as if the rock had been struck by Moses’ rod; new veins of precious ore will be revealed to your astonished gaze as you quarry God’s Word and use diligently the hammer of prayer. You will sometimes feel as if you were entirely shut up, and then suddenly a new road will open before you.

R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): The Bible is always a new book to those well acquainted with it.

AUGUSTINE (354-430): And there is such a depth therein, that a man may daily profit in the knowledge thereof, though he studied nothing else all the days of his life, yea, as long as the days of heaven shall last, without any intermission or remission of his utmost endeavour.

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): But it is to be observed, that the Spirit doth not make revelations of new notions; it only brings to our remembrance what Christ hath said, and further revealeth what was before in the Word revealed, though possibly particular persons were ignorant of such revelations of the Word: so things may be new, and newly revealed to us, which in themselves are not so. There are no new truths.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): When God is said to enlighten us, it is not that we should expect new revelations, but that we may see the wonders in His word, or get a clear sight of what is already revealed.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Although one may know, word for word, the entire contents of some chapter of Scripture, and although he may have taken the time to ponder thoughtfully every sentence therein, yet, on every subsequent occasion, provided one comes to it again in the spirit of humble inquiry, each fresh reading will reveal new gems never seen there before and new delights will be experienced never met with previously. The most familiar passages will yield as much refreshment at the thousandth perusal as they did at the first.

C. H. SPURGEON: Let me tell you a little secret; whenever you cannot understand a text, open your Bible, bend your knee, and pray over that text; and if it does not split into atoms and open itself, try again. If prayer does not explain it, it is one of those things God did not intend you to know, and you may be content to be ignorant of it. Prayer is the key that openeth the cabinets of mystery. Prayer and faith are sacred picklocks that can open secrets, and obtain great treasures. There is no college for holy education like that of the blessed Spirit, for He is an ever-present tutor, to whom we have only to bend the knee, and He is at our side, the great expositor of truth.

JOHN ROBINSON (1575-1625): And so some special instruments of renewing the gospel’s light in the former age, have professed, that they learned more this way by prayer, than by much study otherwise.

ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): You never read God’s Word to profit but as it teaches you to pray while you read.

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): When Daniel was at private prayer, God dispatched a heavenly messenger to him, and his errand was to open more clearly and fully the blessed Scripture to him. Some comfortable and encouraging knowledge this holy man of God had attained unto before by his frequent and constant study in the word, and this eggs him on to private prayer, and private prayer sends an angel from heaven to give him a clearer and fuller light. Private prayer is a golden key to unlock the mysteries of the word unto us. The knowledge of many choice and blessed truths, are but the returns of private prayer. The word most dwells richly in their hearts who are most in pouring out their hearts before God in their closets.

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): A tender, humble, holy frame is perhaps of more importance to our entering into the mind of the Holy Spirit than all other means united. It is thus that, by “an unction from the Holy One, we know all things.”

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): A humble and prayerful spirit will find a thousand things in the Bible which the proud, self-conceited student will utterly fail to discern.

GEORGE MÜLLER: He should have it, moreover, settled in his mind, that, although the Holy Spirit is the best and sufficient teacher, yet that this teacher does not always teach immediately when we desire it, and that, therefore, we may have to entreat Him again and again for the explanation of certain passages; but that He will surely teach us at last, if indeed we are seeking for light prayerfully, patiently, and with a view to the glory of God.

ROWLAND HILL: Wait on the Lord, and He will teach you all things, in such degree and time as He sees best.

MATTHEW HENRY: God gives knowledge and grace to those that search the Scriptures, and wait at wisdom’s gates.

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): I have also felt the advantage of being able to pause, and think, as well as pray; and to inquire how far the subject is any way applicable to my case, and conduct in life.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): There should be a definite asking Him to graciously anoint our eyes Revelation 3:18, not only that we may be enabled to behold wondrous things in His law, but also that He will make us of quick discernment to perceive how the passage before us applies to ourselves—what are the particular lessons we need to learn from it. The more we cultivate this habit, the more likely that God will be pleased to open His Word unto us.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD: And when you close up the book, most earnestly beseech God, that the words which you have read, may be inwardly engrafted into your hearts, and bring forth in you the fruits of a good life. Do this, and you will, with a holy violence, draw down God’s Holy Spirit into your hearts; you will experience His gracious influence, and feel Him enlightening, quickening, and inflaming your souls by the Word of God; you will then not only read, but mark, learn, and inwardly digest what you read: and the Word of God will be meat indeed, and drink indeed, unto your souls: you then will be, as Apollos was, powerful in the Scriptures; scribes ready instructed to the kingdom of God.


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