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PRAYERAPHRASES

Priceless Legacies of Prayer
Prayers & Paraphrased Prayers 
of Charles Spurgeon, Scripture & Others


The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

- James 5:16 b 

* May These Scripture-Filled Prayers 

Help us gaze upon Jesus' Glory More

Continually! 

- #34, 131, 533 especially. 


In Christ's Love,

Tony Ruspantini 


Jn. 17:24; Col. 3:16

(Please Also See Phil. 1:8 on Page 85)

Prayer #19 on Page 3 Summarizes This Little Book 


Prayeraphrases 

E-mail 

Binghamton, NY 13903

607-722-4905 - Weekdays 10 am to 4 pm Only!  


Opening Quotes

...Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified.... 

2 Thessalonians3:l

*

"Oh, my brethren, you will not do better than to quote Scripture, especially in prayer. There are no prayers so good as those that are full of the Word of God." 


"O Lord Jesus, Thou art the life of my joy and the joy of my life." 

- Charles H. Spurgeon 


"O Lord Jesus, take my eyes and keep them fixed upon Thine everlasting beauty. Take my mouth and make it eloquent in testimony to Thy love." 

- John Baillie


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 Prayeraphrases

Priceless Legacies of Prayer


Edited by

Anthony J. Ruspantini 


Copyright 1997

ISBN 1-56043-286-1

For Worldwide Distribution

Printed in the U.S.A. 

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Dedication

To the communion of saints-"The whole family in heaven and earth" (Eph. 3:15)-whom I love dearly and appreciate greatly. 

More specifically to my wife Mary Anne, whom I love more dearly and am indebted to unspeakably! 

And finally, to our children: Ellen, Carol, Anthony, and Linda who have been so supportive in this endeavor, and whom I also love dearly. 


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Appreciation

Let it be said that this little book would not have been possible without the grace of God working in an incredibly unique and marvelous way through the communion of the saints-I being almost inconsequential! 

-The Compiler


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Foreword

"Pray without ceasing," the apostle Paul wrote (1 Thess. 5:17). Many Christians find it hard to pray without stammering, much less pray without ceasing. 


Here's a book that provides a rich resource for Christians who love prayer, as well as for those struggling in their prayer lives. Tony Ruspantini has collected in a useful format this splendid anthology of profoundly eloquent "Prayeraphrases"-expressions of praise, petition, and thanksgiving compiled from Scripture and the prayers of choice believers. 


If you-like I-sometimes feel your tongue inadequate to express your thoughts in prayer, you will find reading this book a great delight. Your soul will reverberate with these phrases, and your prayer life will be greatly enriched. 


This is one of those rare volumes that will become a precious companion, not something to sit on the shelf and gather dust. I commend it to you eagerly with the prayer that it will draw you before the throne of grace with even greater boldness (Heb. 4:16). 


- John F. MacArthur, Jr. 

February 5, 1993


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Introduction

What Is Christ's Burning Desire for His Own? 

John 17:24; 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP)

O that the printed word could more nearly tell forth the longing language of the heart. 

Consider with me Romans 6:17 (NIV). "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted." See also J.I. Packer's quote referring to Romans 6:17 (last quote in Appendix A). 


Please notice that it does not say perfectly obeyed, but wholeheartedly obeyed. O fellow Christian, I believe that if we, individually and as a Body of believers, more fully understood this marvelous verse so that it was a clear blessing to our hearts, so much so that it became a joy to explain it to others, our Christian lives would become so much simpler. Furthermore, there would be much more precious assurance of salvation in the Body of Christ than there is at this present time. 


Following are a few more thoughts on assurance of salvation, and in turn, on BEHOLDING CHRIST'S GLORY and its supreme importance as a basis of earnest private prayer. Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his classic work, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, states, "I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of Christian profession than a verse like this (Mt. 5:6). 


If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture you can be quite certain you are a Christian; if it is not, then you had better examine 


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the foundations again." 1 In Thomas Brooks' outstanding book, A Cabinet of Jewels, he says very much the same thing. In so many words he states, and then repeats several times, words to the effect that if Psalm 119:20 was truly an accurate statement, the substance of which characterized our lives, then we were truly saved. If it did not, we were not. 


According to my study, Psalm 119:20 could be simply stated, "My soul continually breaks for the longing to be a knower and a doer of Thy Word, Lord." 


One of the greatest and most delightful discoveries in my study of God's Word for the past 23 years has been to find the tremendous number of times the concept of longing desire and wholeheartedness is found in the Bible. 


Spurgeon said, "Where our longings are, there are we in the sight of God." 2 There are at least 20 different words, fairly synonymous to the word wholehearted that are used in Scripture. A classic case in point would be a study of the word sound, found in Psalm 119:80. In addition to the word "sound," the Amplified Bible also uses sincere and wholehearted. 


Checking the Hebrew word for "sound," #8549 in Strong's Concordance, at least 17 other English words are used to define that one Hebrew word. Included are words such as upright, perfect, and undefiled to name just three. Starting with the very first two verses and throughout Psalm 119, words similar to wholehearted are used a countless number of times. 


I could associate with what Abraham Lincoln said about Matthew 5:6 and 5:8. He said that Matthew 5:6 was always one of his favorite verses while Matthew 5:8 was to him, 


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1. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Vol. 1, p. 74, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977). 

2. Treasury of David, Vol. 3, p. 212 [Psalm 119:40], (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974). 


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most sobering. I'm sure he would have been delighted to learn that there is strong agreement that if one is characterized by Matthew 5:6, they indeed would be also characterized by Matthew 5:8. 


As a matter of fact, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that only those that mourn over their lack of purity, but have a longing desire to be pure in every way are indeed characterized as having a "pure" heart. 3 


That Greek word for pure also means sincere and wholehearted. It is extremely significant that one of the key verses on election, Ephesians 1:4, somewhat parallels Matthew 5:8 in that "holy" means essentially "pure"; and "without blame" or "blameless" (NAS, NIV), once again carries the meaning of sincere and wholehearted. 


To summarize one more time, because the importance of this cannot be overstated, we were chosen (or elected) to be sincere and wholehearted. 


Thus to be characterized by sincerity and wholeheartedness for Christ and a longing desire to be pure in every way, is to be a Christian indeed! Equally as marvelous, Christ promises in John 14:21 to manifest Himself (and this certainly includes His love) to those who obey Him. 


Regarding the second Biblical concept, BEHOLDING CHRIST'S GLORY, there is nothing in this world that I would rather do, and no subject I would rather talk about. 


More importantly, BEHOLDING CHRIST'S GLORY is without question the preeminent, foundational ingredient in prevailing private prayer. Without it there is no genuine FERVENCY, and as James 5:16 says, "The effectual FERVENT prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Psalm 39:3 reads, "While I was musing the fire burned." 


It essentially means that while pondering God's Word, joy resulted. Once again, pondering God's Word IS BEHOLDING CHRIST'S GLORY. 

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3. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Vol. 1, pp. 108-112, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977). 


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In trying to write about this theme however, I find myself pleading with the Holy Spirit to enable me to find the proper words which have as high a degree of clarity and brevity as possible. The two key verses would be John 17:24 and 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP). 


"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..." (Col. 3:16) would be the practical application very simply stated. Please permit me to bring to your attention what Spurgeon says in his quote following prayer number 100 in this compilation. 


Keeping that in mind, allow me to very slightly paraphrase what Spurgeon said in his sermon on John 17:24. 4 Regarding the word will in John 17:24, he writes, it means "forcible, distinct, resolute, determined purpose and deliberate desire." Other commentators very much agree and some add that the word "will" is equivalent to a Divine Demand! The Greek word for "will" is the strongest word for "desire" that could possibly be used! 


Also, because Christ prayed this matchless prayer just one day before His death, it becomes even more emphatic because it is His last will and testament! So, what is it that Christ so intensely desires us to do in John 17:24? What is the closest we can come on this earth to responding to this incredibly burning desire that Christ has for His own? Second Corinthians 3:18 (AMP) answers is perfectly. 5 "And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold 6 [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord..." 

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4. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 32, p. 174, (London: The Banner of Tmth Trust, 1969). 

5. In his classic work. The Glory of Christ, John Owen uses 2 Corinthians 3:18 no less that eleven times to expound John 17:24 (Chicago: Moody, 1980)! 

6. The Greek word for "behold" in 2 Corinthians 3:18 also means "reflect" (see NIV). 


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In other words, as we read, study, memorize, retain and ponder God's Word, we are BEHOLDING Christ's Glory! This has absolutely thrilled my heart for about the last 15 years and is the very central theme of my message to God's people! What should be more impressive though, is that I genuinely believe that this is the most repeated message that the greatest preachers in the history of the Christian Church have preached to countless generations! 


But how can we best behold or gaze upon Christ's glory via the Word? By pondering much the Scripture verses we have paid a real price to retain. Proverbs 4:4,21 say, "Let thine heart retain my words.. .Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart." If we really love God's Word as did Job (Job 23:12) and Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16), it becomes a labor of love resulting in great joy. Please notice also prayer 176 in this compilation, and hear what the Psalmist said. 


I plead for your patience with me as well as responsive hearts regarding this message because I continually preach it to myself as well as tell it forth to God's people on a one-on-one basis whenever I get the opportunity. Though I approach specifics with fear and trembling, my plea to all Christians is (if you are not presently doing this), to pay any price necessary to be saturated with at least 10 or 20 verses, and, a slowly increasing number as the Holy Spirit directs. 


Being one of Christ's very slow learning students, I personally believe I spend at least ten hours on the average length verse over a period of 7 or 8 weeks. Some have asked if I felt it was worth spending that much time on each verse. Others have said that I would discourage people if I told them how much time I had to spend on each verse. 


To comment on this last statement first, I have found myself much more discouraged by those who say they can spend as brief a time as 5 minutes on each verse to have it committed to memory. I believe 


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these people because some seem to have an uncanny ability to memorize things very fast, especially children. However, in order to truly RETAIN Scripture as Proverbs 4:4 comnands, a much, much greater price has to be paid! I find that (Footnote #11) If I can finally quote a verse VERY FAST while thinking about something else, it has been learned about as well as possible. 


Regarding the comment about whether it is worth spending 10 hours on each verse, I have tried to respond by saying as tenderly and as sincerely as possible, in words to his effect: Even if it took 100 hours over a period of six months to retain one verse, ISN'T JESUS WORTH IT? 


At this point, once again, I feel compelled to say that the untold hours of background reading and compilation would never have been possible without the incredibly supportive md encouraging role played by my wife, Mary Anne. 


Also, I would like to express my genuine appreciation to Chuck and Donna Wetzel for the cheerful, sacrificial, and excellent workmanship that went into the typesetting of this collection. Chuck suggested the innovative title of Prayeraphrases. It has been very well received. 


Finally, without the inspiration, encouragement and editorial advice of Phil Johnson and Dr. John MacArthur, this small book of prayers simply would not have been developed. It is the desire of both Chuck and I to relay our sentiment regarding the love we have for, and the debt of gratitude we owe to the ministry of Dr. MacArthur and Phil Johnson. It is great indeed! 

- Anthony J. Ruspantini 


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