What We Believe

June 23 Daily Devotional

The Beginning of Prayer

Charles and Norma Ellis

Bible Reading

Genesis 4:25-26

25And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
26And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.


Adam and Eve had talked with God in the garden. But after the fall their communion with Him was broken. They still had conversation with Him, but this was the mere saying of words. They could not speak His language. There was a gulf between them, the gulf between sin and holiness. There was no real communion.

In the providence of God men now learned that they could talk to God in a new way through prayer. Even if the presence of God was not manifested as it had been in Eden they could address Him. They must have been taught by His Holy Spirit that they could speak to their Maker and He would bend low His ear and hear. True, only through Christ may men have access to God. But in the garden men were given a first promise of His coming. And the sacrificial system was a mute testimony to men's need to approach God through the Lamb that He would provide. Even at the dawn of history there must have been communicated to man in a faint way God's plan of salvation. And in the light of the certainty in God's appointed time of the death of His Son to cleanse men from their sin, there was even then the possibility of communion between fallen, sinful men and the holy God.

We, on this side of Calvary, strain to comprehend this account of the inception of prayer. We are used to prayer. It is so common and available! We are not sensitive to what it cost the Father to provide a means by which this communion could be re-established. Do we thank God enough for bridging the gap between us and Himself? Do we really value the gift of prayer?

We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."

Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.

Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.



+1 215 830 0900

Contact Form

Find a Church