A WAY TO PRAY
Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Recently I came across an old book on prayer by Mathew Henry. Mathew Henry completed his well known commentary on the entire Bible in the early 1700’s. That commentary has effected our world more than we know. For starters, it became the theological foundation and training ground for George Whitefield.Whitefield was given Henry’s commentary shortly after his conversion. He spent the next year immersed in Henry’s work, that became the foundation of Whitefield’s preaching for the next 40 years. Whitefield was the voice of the 18th century spiritual awakening that birthed revival in Europe and North America. The modern day missions movement was only part of the results of that awakening. Henry’s book on prayer is astounding. It is called “A Method of Prayer”. It is basic, foundational, and life changing. It is thoroughly saturated with scripture and echoes the theology of the reformation. In his first chapter called “Adoration”, we see the God centeredness of Mathew Henry. Here is a glimpse from this chapter called Adoration.
Reverently Adore God
We must reverently adore God, as a Being transcendently bright and blessed, self-existent and self-sufficient, an infinite and eternal Spirit who has all perfections in himself, and give him the glory of his titles and attributes.
O LORD our God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, you cover yourself with light as with a garment; Psalm 104:1-2(ESV) and yet to us you make darkness your canopy, Psalm 18:11(ESV) for we cannot draw up our case because of darkness. Job 37:19(ESV)
This is the message which we have heard of you, and we set our seal to it that it is true: God is light, and in him is no darkness at all; 1 John 1:5(ESV) God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16(ESV)
You are the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, and from whom proceeds every good and perfect gift. James 1:17(ESV)
You are the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. 1 Timothy 6:15-16(ESV)”
We must acknowledge his Being to be unquestionable and past dispute.
The heavens declare your glory, O God, and the sky above proclaims your handiwork. Psalm 19:1(ESV) Your eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived in the things that have been made, Romans 1:19-20(ESV) so that they are fools without excuse who say, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1(ESV) For surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth, Psalm 58:11(ESV) and in heaven too.
We therefore draw near to you believing that you exist and that you powerfully and bountifully reward those who diligently seek you. Hebrews 11:6(ESV)
What a refreshing way to begin your day, praying God’s own words back to Him. Not only praying these words, but actually using them as a springboard to worship. Worshipping God with His very own Words. These few scriptures could be a great place to start your time of prayer today. Go ahead, take some time. Make these words your very own prayers. Just like Henry, Whitefield, and Edwards, you can fly into His Presence, carried by His Word.