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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

READING REFLECTION: QUIET TALKS ON PRAYER BY S. D. GORDON

A PAPER SUBMITTED TO DR. GLEN L. JEFFRIES IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE EVAN 670 STRATEGIC PRAYER AND SPIRITUAL WARFARE

LIBERTY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

BY KAI A. BROWN L23047679

NORCROSS, GEORGIA JUNE 5, 2011

Summary S.D. Gordons Quiet Talks on Prayer provides numerous insightful tips pertaining to training one to utilize the greatest spiritual weapon, prayer. Originally published in 1904, this book may appear outdated to some, however there is a wealth of information on the value and power of prayer. The conscientious reader will be immersed in the wisdom expounded in Quiet Talks. Gordon starts with, The Meaning and Mission of Prayer. The five outlets of power in which the Holy Spirit within shows Himself and reveals His power are discussed. The outlets are through what we are, what we say, what we do, what we give financially for God, and our prayers.1 Next Gordon delves into The Hindrances to Prayer. Satan is the greatest outside hindrance to prayer. Gordon states, The intense fact is this: Satan has the power to hold the answer back for awhile; to delay the results for a time. He has not the power to hold it back finally.2 So it is imperative to remain steadfast in prayer. How to Pray is the third topic which deals with the How of relationship, method and listening to God. Finally it is imperative in the How that Gods will is being prayed. The purpose of prayer is to get Gods will done.3 Finally the book closes with Jesus Habits of Prayer. This section shows the importance of prayer to Jesus. Gordon states, Jesus prayed. He loved to pray. It became to Him like breathing involuntary.4 How much more should we follow in Jesus footsteps in prayer? Evaluation and Critique Some of the strengths of Quiet Talks are Gordons emphasis on Gods will in prayer, utilizing Gods Word in prayer, and his insight regarding prayer in general. Gordon opens the
1 2

S. D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer. (Shippenburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 2003), 8.

Ibid., 77.
3

Ibid., 129.
4

Ibid., 153.

discussion of Gods will in prayer by calling Thy will be done the greatest prayer of all.5 This same phrase is used by Jesus Christ in The Lords Prayer as the example of how all believers should pray. Jesus goes on to demonstrate this in the Garden of Gethsemane where He states Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Christ proved that these words truly sum up all the necessary attitudes of prayer: humility, submission, honesty and desire. Gordon later goes into depth about the fact that getting Gods will done is truly the main purpose of prayer.6 Gods Word in prayer is discussed. Going to God in prayer using His words is powerful. Gordon suggests that a believer needs to meet God alone, habitually, with the door shut, and the Book open.7 Specific methods of reading the Scriptures, most notably his idea of wide reading which involves approaching the Bible as if it were a story or novel, something to be appreciated as a chronicle of actual events.8 Finally Gordon shares countless insights on prayer throughout his book. Three that have stirred my heart are prayer without action is weakened, for service after prayer is the evident claiming of the victory already won in secret, prayer begins with both communion and petition, but finally climaxes when it moves into intercession, and the three personalities of prayer: the God who hears, the man who prayer and the Satan who seeks to prevent it all from taking place.9 The one area of the book that may be viewed as a weakness is Gordons implication of certain victory in praying for the salvation of others. Gordon suggest that with interpersonal

5 6

Ibid., 43.

Ibid., 129, 132.


7

Ibid., 75
8

Ibid., 124.
9

Ibid., 14, 30, 87.

contact comes opportunity to reach the lost; this opportunity comes with great responsibility.10 He then gives suggestions and methods of praying for the lost. The issue arises when Gordon states, Without any doubt, we may assure the conversion of these laid upon our hearts by such praying.11 I do not doubt the reality that the power of prayer can weaken Satans grip and free a mans will,12 and allow him to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus, however Gordons view seems to make the task simplistic. While God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), realistically many souls will perish in spite of prayer. Personal Application S.D. Gordons Quiet Talks has helped me gain a better understanding of the intense spiritual warfare involved in prayer. As an intercessor, I daily go before the Father in prayer for others and this book has given me more material with which to battle the enemy. I have seen Satan and his desire to hold on to those who are not his, and I have seen prayer consistently weaken his hold on man. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4). Therefore Christians need to prayer. Gordon states, Prayer is man giving God a footing on the contested territory of this earth. The man in full touch of purpose with God praying, insistently praying that man is Gods footing on the enemys soil.13 Quiet Talks has given me a greater desire to fulfill this call as on who gives God a footing on Satans territory. Prayer truly does have the strength to overcome the power of evil and sin.

10 11

Ibid., 140.

Ibid., 142.
12

Ibid., 141.
13

Ibid., 26.

Bibliography Gordon, S. D. Quiet Talks on Prayer. Shippenburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 2003.