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P. 1
On Hypocritically Desiring Prayer.

On Hypocritically Desiring Prayer.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOB ORTON


Jeremiah xlii. 20.

For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the Lord
your God, saying, Pray for us unto the Lord our God, and
according unto all that the Lord our God shall say, so declare
unto us, and loe will do it.
BY JOB ORTON


Jeremiah xlii. 20.

For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the Lord
your God, saying, Pray for us unto the Lord our God, and
according unto all that the Lord our God shall say, so declare
unto us, and loe will do it.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 19, 2013
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O HYPOCRITICALLY DESIRIG PRAYER. BY JOB ORTO Jeremiah xlii. 20. For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the Lord your God, saying, Pray for us unto the Lord our God, and according unto all that the Lord our God shall say, so declare unto us, and loe will do it. It hath given much concern to many faithful ministers, to ob- serve some persons frequently desiring their prayers, and those of their congregations, who nevertheless appeared at other times to be strangers to the fear of God, very defective in the dis- charge of their duty, and very little concerned about it. There is too much reason to apprehend, that they place a false and dangerous dependence upon the prayers of others. I have therefore thought it my duty, to lay before you some reflections on this head ; to introduce which the words of the text are very pertinent. We read in the beginning of this chapter, that the Jews who were left in their own land, after the greater part of the nation had been carried captive to Babylon, came to Jere- miah the prophet, and desired that he would pray unto the Lord for them, and particularly entreat that God would show them the way of duty. And they bound themselves by a solemn oath, that they would obey the voice of the Lord, whether his com- mands were agreeable or disagreeable to them (v. 5). Jeremiah accordingly prayed for them, and God gave him directions what he should say to them in his name. But knowing their hypo- crisy, and that they were determined to go down to Egypt, contrary to his commands, he informs the prophet of it, who chargeth them with it in the text ; " For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the Lord your God, saying, Pray for us unto the Lord our God, and according unto all that the Lord our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it." From whence we may observe, that those may earnestly desire the prayers of God's ministers and people, who yet dissemble in their hearts, and will not do the commands of God. I shall,
 
I. Consider on what principles desiring the prayers of others is grounded ; II. When persons may be said to dissemble in their hearts, in desiring them ; and, III. Represent to you the hypocrisy and evil of this conduct. I am I. To consider on what principles desiring the prayers of others is grounded. DIS. XXXIII.] O HYPOCRITICALLY DESIRIG PRAYER. 283 And they are these ; that it is our duty to pray for one another ; that God hath often shown a gracious regard to the intercessions of his servants for others; and that it is very desirable, especially in some particular cases, to have an in- terest in them. Desiring the prayers of others intimates a per- suasion that it is our duty to pray one for another. This is a dictate of reason. It is natural for men to ask the advice and assistance of their friends in the common affairs of life; to desire them to use their interest with others for them, or join in any petition or application for their benefit. It was common even among the heathen, to wish one another's welfare in their conversation and letters, and to pray for their friends when they offered sacrifice. Several heathen princes sent sacrifices to be offered at Jerusalem, that the Jews might pray for them and their kingdom, Ezra vi. 10; 1 Mace. xii. 11. To pray one for another is a duty expressly required in the word of God. Thus he commanded the captive Jews in Babylon, to " seek the peace of that city, and pray unto the Lord for it," Jer. xxix. 7. " I exhort," saith the apostle Paul, " that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God." So the apostle James commands, " Pray one for another." Yea, it is represented as a sin against God, as well as others, to
 
neglect it. Thus Samuel said, " God forbid I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you," 1 Sam. xii. 23. Accordingly, it hath been the pious custom of good men to pray for one another, and to desire one another's prayers. Abraham made intercession for the inhabitants of Sodom ; and Hezekiah sent to Isaiah the prophet, to pray for him and his kingdom when the Assyrians invaded them. Thus Christ prayed for his disciples; and St. Paul, in all his epistles, earnestly intercedes for his friends; he tells them, it was his constant custom so to do, and often desires that they would pray for him. The particular places I need not cite in so plain a case. Desiring the prayers of others supposeth that God hath often answered the prayers of good men for others. Good men are dear to God, and he loveth them. They have an interest in heaven, and God hath often granted to others what they have desired for them. It is, indeed, a part of his wise and righteous constitution of government, that others should be favoured for the sake of good men, and be benefited by their piety and prayers. Thus God commanded Abimelech to restore Abraham his wife, saying, " He is a prophet and shall pray for -thee, and thou shalt live," Gen. xx. 7. So he commanded Job's friends, " Go to my servant Job, and he shall pray for you, for him will I accept." We have many instances in scripture of the intercessions of good men for others, and of the efficacy of them. Thus when Moses prayed for Israel Amalek was van- 284 orton's practical works. quished, the fire which burnt in the camp was quenched, the plague was stayed, and the destructive serpents were removed. When he interceded for Miriam her leprosy was healed. When he prayed for Pharaoh the plagues of Egypt, one after another, were taken away. Yea, God was so influenced by Moses' prayers for Israel, that he saith unto him, " Let me alone, that I may consume them," Exod. xxxii. 10; as if he could not do it while Moses continued praying for them. So in Hezekiah's time, when many of the people did eat the passover otherwise than it was commanded, Hezekiah prayed for them, "that the

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