« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
God be upon us, do establish thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands, establisb thou it.
Secondly, Omit not daily to poure foreb chy Soul in secret and fervent prayer before the Lord, humbly confessing, and bewailing chy fins, with a deep sense and feeling of the evil
, danger, and desert of them; begging earnestly (as for thy life) a ful and free pardon and difcharge of them all in the blood of Christ, and humbly imploring the aid and assistance of the holy Spirit, to enable thee co morrifie thy corruptions, to resist temptacions, and to perform in a righe manner all the duties required of thee.
Be much in this ducy of secret prayer, if evet thou interideft to save chy soul, co honour God here, or to be happy wich him hereafter. And remember that co pray unto God in an acceptable manner, is not to say over a few prayers, or to uccer a few peticions (Parrat-like) in a formal
, cold, customary manner; where there is not a true sense and feeling of fin and misery; and where the defires of the foul are not carried out earnestly co seek for mercy, and relief from God through Chrift, there can be no trúc hearty praying, such as God will accept, though the outside and external part of the duty be per.
formed never so speciously. God more regards che fighes, and tears, and broken expressions of a truly concrite and bumble heart, that are powred forth in secret before him, chan the most set, and exactly form'd devotions, that proceed either from formnalicy or hypocrisie. If thou wouldest therefore pray aright, beg the assistance of the holy Spirit of God, to help and enable thee ; for we knon not how to pray as we ought, except the Spirit help our infirmities. Beg therefore the affiftance of the Spirit, to work, and quicken in thy heart those apprehensions, affcctions, and Graces, which are requisite for the right performance of this dury, And with chat gracious assistance labour to pray,
1. With humility, and reverence, having an high and awful apprehension of the Majesty of God.
2. With a deep sense and feeling of thy wants and neceflicies : and with brokennesse of heart, and true contrition for thy fias.
3. Offer up thy prayers and supplications to God in the Name of Chrift, che only Mediacour between God and man, noc barely mentioning his Name, but drawing thy encourage ment to pray, and thy hope of acceptance in prayer, from bis Merits, Mediation, and Interceffion.
4. Pray in Faith, humbly trusting in Gods Power, Goodaesse, Faithfulnesse, and graci
ous proinises made in Chrift ; not so much a Christians prayer, as his Faith in prayer prevaileth with God. And 'cis a great encouragement to Faith, co consider, there is not only bounty in God, but bounty engaged by promile. 'O how great are che priviledges of Saines: God is their Father willing co hear their prayers ; Christ is their Advocate willing to present their requests; the holy Ghost is çheir helper and assister co draw up their requests for them.
5. Lift up pure hands without wrath, as the Apostle adviiech, I Tim.2.8. Before chou set. rest thy self to this duty, labour to get thy heart purged of all malice, wrath, ill will
, and desire of revenge, if there be any such vile affection in the towards any body. When thou goest to pray, thou goest to beg forgivenefse of thy manifold sins from God; which thou canst nor reasonably expect, if thou art not willing to forgive ochers : Our Saviour bath caughi us co pray, forgive us our trespases, as we forgive them that trespasse against us. And this is very remarkeable, he resumes chis pecition of all che rest to explain and by a strong reason to enforce; Mat.6.14,15. For if you forgive men their trespaffes, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you ; but if ye forgive not men their trefalles, neither will your Father forgive your trebaßes. Remember therefore, chu it is
thy duty, heartily to forgive those that bave done chec any wrong, and to pray for them, that God would pardon them in his Son, and give them such a frame of heart, that they may please him, and be blesfed by him, boch here and hereafter. This is a good signe of Grace, LO pray for a blessing on our very enemies.
6. Pray in sincerity, Looke chac thy end be right, and chat thy aim be at the Glory of God. There is a great deal of difference becwixe a carnal desire, and a gracious fupplication, Fam.4. 3: Te ask and have not, because ye ask amiffe, to spend it on your lists. Praiers chac want a good aim, do usually want a good issue. When thou findest chy heart running out by a perverse aim, check it, and disclaim it the more solemnly. If our praiers be not directed to the Glory of God, there is liccle hope that when we receive the sam lent we pray for, we shall employ it to our Masters use. They chat cannot ask a mercy well, seldome use it well.
7. Labour co pray wich zeal, fervency, warmch, and holy importunity, with sensiblenefse, and strong workings of affection. 'Tis easie to say a prayer in a formal, cold manner, when the heart is nothing affected with it, but possibly wandring, while the lips are praying Buc that is true prayer, when the soul reaches ouc after those chings ic praies for, in holy, ar• dent, and spiritual desires. Sighs and groans
are the Language God understands. When God meanech co bestow any blessing, he usual
the hearts of his people earnestly to pray for it. And the effusion of the Spirit of supplication, thac holy, yet humble imporcunity, that spiritual violence, and wrestling and Atriving, and pleading with the Almighty, is a happy presage of an approaching blessing.
8. Beg spiritual bleffings, and the things appertaining to the soul primarily, and with greateft earnestoesse: Beg temporall mercies, and such as concern this life, and thy welfare here, with an humble submission unto God; resigning thy will co his most holy will; earnestly begging, that, what he sees not good for thee, nor fic co be granted thee, he would make thee willing and contented to be without.
9. To supplication, forget not to adde praises and thanksgivings to the Lord for all his benefits; for his innumerable favours confer’d on thee in the course of thiy life past, and also for thy present enjoyments. Especially quicken and provoke and awaken thy soul to lift up the high praises of God; for his inestimable love in fending his Son, to be a ransome for fin, and fending his Holy Spirit to convince of fin, and ofrighteousneffe, and to perswade, and enable thy heart to close with Christ. And lastly, upon the receipt of any new mercy and favour from God; offer up a cheerful and hearty facri