Wow, this is a big book! Each page contains a great deal of depth...so I cannot adequately summarize this book, and I'm only on page 69 of a 562-page work!
Here are a few nuggets from my recent readings and how they impacted me...there may be more posts in the future on this book.
(1) "The praying which influences God is declared to be that of the fervent, effectual outpouring of a righteous man. That is to say, it is prayer on fire, having no feeble flickering flame, no momentary flash, but shining with a vigorous and steady glow."
How many times have I tried to go through my devotional time in the morning - just trying to stay awake and focus, let alone have fervor? Yet - I know what he is saying. The times when I take myself "by the scruff of the neck" and push to engage my deep desire for God to work in my prayer - something changes both in me and in my communication with God.
(2) "Obedience follows love, and prayer follows obedience. The business of real observance of God's commandments inseparably accompanies the business of real praying."
Our sin is covered by the CROSS, however, unconfessed sin does hinder our functional (not positional) relationship with God. I do believe that sometimes when our prayers are not answered, it is due to unconfessed sin in our lives. The other day I was struggling with temptation - and for a brief time allowed myself to be drawn in. Within 5-10 minutes, the Spirit was too 'loud' to ignore and I had to stop. I cringed at the idea that my prayer life might suffer in its fervency and effectiveness because I entered into willful sin. There is too much at stake - too much of a great war around us - to fool around with sin when we have the serious business of prayer to use in this great spiritual battle.
(3) "The Word of God is the fulcrum upon which the lever of prayer is placed and by which things are mightily moved. ...The Word of God is made effectual and operative by the process and practice of prayer. ...If [the Word of God] be lodged and written in our hearts, it will form an outflowing current of prayer, full and irresistible."
For about two years now, I have used the Word of God to fuel my prayer life by writing verses on a 3x5 card, then using those verses to pray for myself and for others. I have been amazed at the answers to prayer that come. The Word comes alive in my life and others' lives as I call upon God to act out His will according to His Word.
More to come later...