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On Prayer..pdf

On Prayer..pdf

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"O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come." — Psalm Ixv., *2.


"O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come." — Psalm Ixv., *2.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 13, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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On Prayer.
BY SIMO CLOUGH"O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come." — Psalm Ixv., *2. Set your affection on things above, and not on things on earth. This is the language of a heart devoted to God — of a heart aspiring to be conformed to the divine image. True religion breaks off the affection from earth, and places it on things above, ivhere Christ sifteth at the right hand of God. It consists in devoutly admiring his greatness, reposing in his government, submitting to his author- it v, confiding in his goodness, and ardently desiring to form the temper and conduct after the example of Christ. Prayer holds such a distinguished place in religion, that the whole of religion is frequently described by it : This is the generation of them that seek thee, that seek thy face, O God of Jacob. The neglect of prayer is a most dangerous feeling in the soul. It springs from pride, and is a denial of that homage due to God. A due preparation of heart for the reception of the mercy and grace of God, must pre- cede the bestowment of these blessings. The hungry and thirsty relish meat and drink ; the sick value health ; and a sense of want will make us relish the blessings of salvation. It is painful to a minister of the gospel, who has labored many years among a people, to see a growing deficiency in this respect, and to be obliged to urge the importance and the necessity of prayer; but the depravity of the human heart urges this imposing duty upon every ambassador of heaven. 31 350 O PRAYER.
I. In considering the subject of prayer, we shall notice, in the first place, the c/uiracter under which we are to view God, when we approach him in prayer: O thou that hearcst prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. When we approach God in prayer, we should come to him, 1. As God in Christ. We have rebelled against the government of heaven — we have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God. We have, therefore, no right to approach a throne of mercy, in the eyes of law : for, by the deeds of the law, shall no fiesh be justified in his sight ; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Many forget this, and come to God without thought. They cherish no sense of guilt ; they invent compliments ; they turn their periods, and affect to make a display of eloquence in prayer to the Almighty. Such persons honor God with their lips, but their hearts are fur from him. They seek the praise of men more than the glory of God. God is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, and as guilty, depraved, endangered men, it is in this character we are to come to him — as God in Christ. Through him all have access by one Spirit to the Father, and by him the streams of the grace and mercy of God flow to the human family. His mediation is the only ground of hope to lost and perishing man ; it is the life of our prayers, and the aspiration of our desires. The throne is, as the prophet calls it, a glorious high throne ; but it is also a throne of grace, where we can obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Let us, therefore, come to God in Christ; but let us come as sinners, and rejoice that the way is opened. 2. We should come to him as to a sin-pardoning God. He who is pressed down under a deep sense of guilt, will be earnest and fervent in his supplications. He will have no time to study man- ner, or words ; the pressure of his guilt is too heavy to admit of this. Like the publican, he will smite upon his breast, and pray to God, Be mercful unto me a sinner. Mercy is the loadstone which has attached him to the throne, and mercy is the burden of his prayer. Guilt overwhelms him, and shame covers his face ; but the mercy and compassion of God inspires him with the hope of success. He who listens to my prayer, is a God plenteous in mer- cy — a God who delights in mercy — a God who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin — a God who will abundantly pardon. A
persuasion that God is rich inmercy, to all who call upon him, will inspire us with holy boldness. This furnlslied the Psalmist with an impassioned argument, when he addressed the throne of grace : Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ! but there is for- giveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Let Israel hope in the Lord ; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenti- ous redemption. Let this sentiment Inspire the penitent soul with humble confidence; let it animate him to approach a God of mercy; and let it dispose him ever to pray, and never to faint. O PRAYER. 351 3. We should come to him, as to an all-sufficient God. Many and diversified are the wants of the children of God ; but there is a sufficiency in the Father of mercies, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift. My God, says the apostle, shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory, by Jesus Christ. And Jesus himself declared to an afflicted and suffering disciple, that his grace ivas sufficient for him. We should, therefore, in our ap- proaches to God, come to him fully persuaded of his all-sufiiciency, and ask of him great things. If we want knowledge, let us come to the Father of lights. If we lack wisdom, let us ask of God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth not. If we desire the aid of the Holy Spirit, to purify our hearts and make us meet for the inheri- tance of the saints in light, this is also the gift of God. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. By the exercise of devout and humble prayer, we may bring this all-sufficient God to our aid, we may enlist him in our favor ; and if God be for us, who shall be against us ? He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not ivith him also, fully give us all things. 4. We should come to him as to a bouyitiful and compassionate God. To give us evidences of this, he has clothed himself in those characters we are sure to understand and to feel, especially that of a Father : Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord piti-

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