“Private prayer, lastly, is also the path to a proven shelter, a haven of rest, a mighty fortress, a rock of defense for present adversities and an unknown future. Prayer is a refuge from the storms of life. This is why Satan fears and hates private prayer and will fight with every possible device and argument to keep you from prayer” (James W. Beeke and Joel R. Beeke, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, 12).
“Jesus underscores our need to be alone with God [see Matthew 6:6]…. as friends love to share treasured secrets, so the Lord loves to share secrets of His truth, His Triune Person, His kingdom, and His love with believers. Through His Spirit He uncovers scriptural truth more deeply in the soul by means of private prayer. It is between the closest friends that the most is shared: ‘The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant’ (Ps. 25:14)” (James W. Beeke and Joel R. Beeke, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, 11).
“Prayer requires faith: believing in God, trusting in God, and placing our expectations in God…. Do you exercise faith in Christ when you pray (John 14:1)? Do you trust in His person and mediatorial work, looking for Him to meet all your needs as your Prophet, Priest, and King? Do you rest in His natures, states, and benefits as inseparable from your salvation? Are you concerned for the cause of Christ’s kingdom, the promotion of His Name and His truth, that these may shape your own desires and purposes, and consume your time and energy? God’s will becomes primary and your will becomes secondary when true faith is active in your life. A living faith will generate heartfelt desires to be conformed to His will” (James W. Beeke and Joel R. Beeke, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, 7-8).
“[One problem] in Christians’ prayer lives is when we spend more time preparing to come to Christ than in actually coming to Him” (James W. Beeke and Joel R. Beeke, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, 6).
“Jesus taught us, ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name’ (John 16:24). To pray in Christ’s name is to take refuge in Him as God’s beloved Son — the One whom the Father delights to hear and to honor. Praying in Jesus’ name includes confessing who is truly God and Master in my life” (James W. Beeke and Joel R. Beeke, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, 5).
“A preacher cannot bear witness to Christ and to himself at the same time. He must aim to unveil Christ and conceal himself'” (David Murray, How Sermons Work, 154).
“A fool can preach like a genius, but it takes a genius to preach simply. And by genius, I don’t mean that some people have an innate ability to make the profound simple. Genius is usually the end-result of extremely hard work” (David Murray, How Sermons Work, 146).
“However, in many circles, especially perhaps in some Reformed churches, we may be in danger of over-complicating sermons. By over-complicating sermons I mean… Too much logic, not enough likes: Just read the Gospels and ask yourself if you are like picture-painting Jesus or philosophical Plato. Yes, we need logic. But we also need ‘likes’ (e.g. the kingdom of heaven is like…) and stories (e.g. there was a rich man…)” (David Murray, How Sermons Work, 145).
“Very few people will complain if a sermon is shorter than expected” (David Murray, How Sermons Work, 141).
“And so I close this chapter with an appeal for more Christ-centered application. In a sense, this is the most important point in this chapter because only Christ-centered application will deliver us from mere moralizing and latent legalism” (David Murray, How Sermons Work, 117).