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THE BLESSING OF PRAYER

Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards:

The Most High is a God that hears prayer. Though he is infinitely above all and stands in no need of creatures, yet he is graciously pleased to take a merciful notice of poor worms of the dust. He manifests and presents himself as the object of prayer, appears as sitting on a mercy-seat that men may come to him by prayer. When they stand in need of anything, he allows them to come, and ask it of him, and he is wont to hear their prayers. God in his Word hath given many promises that he will hear their prayers. The Scripture is full of such examples, and in his dispensations towards his church, manifests himself to be a God that hears prayer.

Here it may be inquired what is meant by God’s hearing prayer? There are two things implied in it.

First, his accepting the supplications of those who pray to him. Their address to him is well taken, he is well-pleased with it. He approves of their asking such mercies as they request of him and approves of their manner of doing it. He accepts of their prayers as an offering to him. He accepts the honor they do him in prayer.

Second, he acts agreeably to his acceptance. He sometimes manifests his acceptance of their prayers by special discoveries of his mercy and sufficiency, which he makes to them in prayer, or immediately after. While they are praying, he gives them sweet views of his glorious grace, purity, sufficiency, and sovereignty, and enables them, with great quietness, to rest in him, to leave themselves and their prayers with him, submitting to his will and trusting in his grace and faithfulness. … Not that I conclude persons can hence argue, that Evening Prayerthe particular thing which they ask will certainly be given them, or that they can particularly foretell from it what God will do in answer to their prayers, any further than he has promised in his Word. Yet God may, and doubtless does, thus testify his acceptance of their prayers, and from hence they may confidently rest in his providence [and] in his merciful ordering and disposing, with respect to the thing which they ask. Again, God manifests his acceptance of their prayers, by doing for them agreeably to their needs and supplications. He not only inwardly and spiritually discovers his mercy to their souls by his Spirit, but outwardly by dealing mercifully with them in his providence, in consequence of their prayers, and by causing an agreeableness between his providence and their prayers. (“A Prayer Hearing God”)

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  1. Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

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