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The Twofold Aspect of Prayer

The Twofold Aspect of Prayer

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Published by glennpease
BY EDWARD MEYRICK GOULBURN, D.D.,

" Let my prayer he set forth before thee as incense : and the
lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrificed —PSALM
cxli. 2.
BY EDWARD MEYRICK GOULBURN, D.D.,

" Let my prayer he set forth before thee as incense : and the
lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrificed —PSALM
cxli. 2.

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Published by: glennpease on Dec 02, 2013
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THE TWOFOLD ASPECT OF PRAYER BY EDWARD MEYRICK GOULBURN, D.D.," Let my prayer he set forth before thee as incense : and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrificed —PSALM cxli. 2. It is observable that our Blessed Lord, in His Sermon on the Mount, takes up the subject of prayer twice ; 62 Of the Twofold Aspect of Prayer, and the [part once in the sixth, and again in a totally different con-nexion, in the seventh chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. Why, it may be asked, when He was on tlie subject of prayer in the sixth chapter, did He not then and there exhaust all that was to be said upon it 1 It is possible that the answer to this question may be found in the twofold aspect of Prayer, which will form the subject of this Chapter. Prayer is a means of supplying man's necessities ; this is its human aspect its face towards man. Under this aspect our Lord
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regards it in the seventh chapter, where He gives the consolatory assurance that all our real wants shall be supplied by it : " Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." But Prayer has another quite distinct aspect. It is an act of homage done to the Majesty of God. Accordingly it is to be performed with the utmost re-verence and solemnity; there is to be no babbling in it, no familiar glibness of the tongue, no running of words to waste, but simple, grave, short, sound, well-considered speech. So had King Solomon said long centuries ago : " Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God : for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth : therefore let thy words be few." And so says One greater and wiser than Solomon, even Christ, " the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God." These are His words in the sixth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel : " But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do : for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." " Be not ye therefore like unto them." In the same  paragraph, He says that the homage is not to be ostentatiously offered, but in the privacy of the closet. Privately as it may be paid, the Father will acknow-
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II.] Necessity of i^ractising it in both Aspects. 03 ledge it openly. Observe how the promise runs in this section of the Sermon. He says not, "the Father will give you the thing asked for;" for that was not exactly the aspect under which He was then viewing Prayer ;  but " He shall reward thee openly," — acknowledge thee as a true worshipper in the face of men and angels. The secret homage of the Saints is to be owned at the Day of Judgment. Their wants are to be supplied in the present life. Both these benefits are the crown and meed of real believing prayer. But they are entirely distinct subjects of thought. In our last Chapter we rather looked at Prayer in the former of these two views, as a means of supplying man's wants. We regarded it as a pouring out of the heart with all its felt necessities, trials, and burdens,  before God. This it is. But it is something more than this. And unless we hold before the eyes of our minds this second aspect of it, not only will our view
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