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to the fourth volume, I was willing to take a little time from that work to this poor performance, in hopes it might be of some service to the generation of them that seek God, that seek the face of the God of Jacob; and if any good Christian receive assistance from it in their devotions, I hope they will not deny me one request, which is, that they will pray for me, that I may obtain mercy of the Lord, to be found among the faithful watchmen on Jerusalem's walls, Who never hold their peace day nor night, but give themselves to the word and prayer, that at length I may finish my course with joy.
MATTHEW HENRY. Chester, March 27th, 1710. .
A METHOD FOR PRAYER.
· Of the first part of Prayer, which is Address to God, Adoration
of him, with suitable Acknowledgments, Professions and preparatory Requests.
Our spirits being composed into a very reverend and serious frame, our thoughts gathered in, and all that is within us charged in the name of the great God, carefully to attend the solemn and awful service that lies before us, and to keep close to it, we must with a fixed attention and application of mind, and an active lively faith, set the Lord BEFORE US, see his eye upon us, and set ourselves in his special presence, presenting ourselves to him as living sacrifices, which we desire may be holy and acceptable, and a reasonable service a; and then bind these sacrifices with cords to the horns of the altar b, in such thoughts as these :
Let us now lift up our hearts C, with our eyes and hands unto God in the heavens d. · Let us stir up ourselves to take hold on God e, to seek his face, and to give him the glory due unto his name g.
Unto thee, O Lord, do we lift up our souls h.
Let us now, with humble boldness, enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, in the new and living way i, which he hath consecrated to us through the veil. a Rom. xii. 1. b Psal. cxviii. 27. c Lam, iii. 41. d John xvü. 1. e Isa. lxiv. 7. g Ps. xxvii. 8. xxix. 2. k Psal. xxv. 1. i Heb. x. 19.
Let us now attend upon the Lord without distraction a, and let not our hearts be far from him, when we draw nigh unto him with our mouths, and honour him with our lips b.
Let us now worship God, who is a Spirit, in spirit and in truth : for such the Father seeks to worship him c.
Having thus engaged our hearts to approach unto God d, . . • 1. We must solemnly address ourselves to that INFINITELY GREAT and GLORIOUS Being with whom we have to do as those that are possessed with a full belief of his PRESENCE and a holy awe and reverence of his MAJESTY; which we may do in such expressions as these :
Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come e.
O thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, and who art the most HIGH over all the earth f.
O God, thou art our God, early will we seek thee g; our God, and we will praise thee; our father's God, and we will exalt thee h. - O thou, who art the true God, the living God, the only living and true God, and the everlasting Kingi! The Lord our God, who is one Lordk.
And we may thus distinguish ourselves from the worshippers of false gods:
The idols of the heathens are silver and gold, they are vanity and a lie, the works of men's hands; they that make them are like unto them, and so is every one that trusteth in them l. But the portion of Jacob is not like them, for he is the former of all things, and Israel is the rod of his inheritance ; the Lord of hosts is his namem, God over all, blessed for evermoren. a 1 Cor. vi. 35. i 6 Mat. xv. 8. c John iv. 23, 24. d Jer. xxx. 21. e Rev. iv. 8.
f Psal.lxxxiii. 18. g Psal. lxii. 1. "h Exod. xv. 2. - ¿ Jer. x. 10. k Deut. vi. 4. - Psal..cxv. 4-7. m Jer, X. 15, 16. n Rom. ix. 5.
Their rock is not our rock, even the enemies themselves being judges; for he is the rock of ages a, the Lord Jehovah, with whom is everlasting strength b: whose name shall endure for ever, and his memorial unto all generations c, when the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from off the earth and from under those heavens d.
2. We must reverently adore God, as a Being transcendantly bright and blessed, self-existent, and selfsufficient, an infinite and eternal Spirit, that has all perfections in himself, and give him the glory of his titles and attributes.
O Lord our God, thou art very great, thou art clothed with honour and majesty, thou coverest thyself with light as with a garment e, and yet as to us makest darkness thy pavilion g; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness h.
This is the message which we have heard of thee, and we set to our seal that it is true, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all i : and that God is love, and they that dwell in love, dwell in God, and God in them k.
Thou art the Father of light, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning, and from whom proceedeth every good and perfect gift l.
Thou art the blessed and only potentate: the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hast immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto, which no man hath seen or can see m.
We must acknowledge his being to be unquestionable and past dispute.
The heavens declare thy glory, O God, and the firmament showeth thy handy-work n, and by the things a Deut. xxxii. 31. b Isa. xxvi. 4. c Psal. cxxxv. 13. d Jer. x. 11. e Psal. civ. 1, 2. ģ Psal xviii. 11. h Job xxxvii, 19. i 1 John i, 5.
k 1 John iv. 16. | James i. 17. m 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16. n Psal. xix. 1.