“I commend to you, in the next place, the importance of intercession in our prayers. We are all selfish by nature and our selfishness is very apt to stick to us, even when we are converted.
There is a tendency in us to think only of our own souls,—our own spiritual conflict,—our own progress in religion, and to forget others. Against this tendency we have all need to watch and strive, and not least in our prayers.
We should study to be of a public spirit. We should stir ourselves up to name other names beside our own before the throne of grace.
We should try to bear in our hearts the whole world,—the heathen,—the Jews,—the Roman Catholics,—the body of true believers,—the professing Protestant Churches,—the country in which we live,—the congregation to which we belong,—the household in which we sojourn,—the friends and relations we are connected with.
For each and all of these we should plead. This is the highest charity. He loves me best who loves me in his prayers.
This is for our soul’s health. It enlarges our sympathies and expands our hearts. This is for the benefit of the Church.
The wheels of all machinery for extending the Gospel are oiled by prayer. They do as much for the Lord’s cause who intercede like Moses on the mount, as they do who fight like Joshua in the thick of the battle.
This is to be like Christ. He bears the names of His people on His breast and shoulders as their High Priest before the Father.
Oh, the privilege of being like Jesus! This is to be a true helper to ministers. If I must needs choose a congregation, give me a people that prays.”
–J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion: Being Plain Papers on the Daily Duties, Experience, Dangers, and Privileges of Professing Christians (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1878/2013), 86-87.