While checking for evidences of life and growth, what about your prayers?
I ask whether you pray, because a habit of prayer is one of the surest marks of a true Christian.
All the children of God on earth are alike in this respect. From the moment there is any life and reality about their religion, they pray. Just as the first sign of life in an infant when born into the world is the act of breathing, so the first act of men and women when they are born again is praying.
This is one of the common marks of all the elect of God, “They cry unto him day and night” (Luke 18:1). The Holy Spirit, who makes them new creatures, works in them the feeling of adoption, and makes them cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15). The Lord Jesus, when he quickens them, gives them a voice and a tongue, and says to them, “Be dumb no more.” God has no dumb children. It is as much a part of their new nature to pray, as it is of a child to cry. They see their need of mercy and grace. They feel their emptiness and weakness. They can not do otherwise than they do. They must pray.
But this I do say, that not praying is a clear proof that a man is not yet a true Christian. He cannot really feel his sins. He cannot love God. He cannot feel himself a debtor to Christ. He cannot long after holiness. He cannot desire heaven. He has yet to be born again. He has yet to be made a new creature. He may boast confidently of election, grace, faith, hope, and knowledge, and deceive ignorant people. But you may rest assured it is all vain talk if he does not pray.
“If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning,
the devil gets the victory through the day.
I have so much business I cannot get on
without spending three hours daily in prayer.
~ Martin Luther ~
“Prayer will make a man cease from sin,
or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.”
~ John Bunyon ~
“The little estimate we put on prayer
is evidence from the little time we give to it.”
~ E.M. Bounds ~
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. ESV
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ESV
“You may as soon find a living man that does not breath,
as a living Christian that does not pray.”
~ Matthew Henry ~