Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8.26
Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“Hypocrites never had the spirit of prayer…The spirit of prayer is a holy spirit, a gracious spirit…Wherever there is a true spirit of supplication, there is the spirit of grace. The true spirit of prayer is no other than God’s own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this Spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God to converse with him by prayer.”
Within the Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit maintain continuous communion and communication, motivated by mutual love. God’s plan of redemption involves, in part, His desire to increase that communion and communication, by drawing people into the fellowship of the Godhead through prayer. What better way to accomplish this objective, and so to multiply the experience of God’s joy, power, and life, than to send the Spirit to dwell within all who are true believers, so that He might teach and help them in the work of prayer? To neglect private prayer is to quench the Spirit as He seeks to move us into communion with the Father. We protest we do not know how to pray as we ought; yet God has sent His Spirit to teach us. We object that we’ve never had a great prayer life; but God reminds us that this Power at work within us can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we’ve ever thought or asked. God’s Power is at work within us, that we might will and do what brings us into the pleasure of God. Rather than quench this power – the power we need for prayer – we should submit to it, and put ourselves in times, postures, and frames of mind where prayer can happen.
How would you counsel a new believer to avoid quenching the Spirit by nurturing a growing life of prayer?
Men of the Church: A Solemn Warning, A Serious Call, An Amazing Hope
God is looking for men who will pray. The consequences of His not finding any are very serious, indeed. Download this free brochure, Men of the Church (click here), and let the voice of God call you to begin taking the work of prayer more seriously.
Revival Prayer Groups
The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.All quotations from Jonathan Edwards, “Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer” in Edward Hickman, ed., The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1834, 1995), Volume Two, pp. 71 ff.
The Spirit of Prayer
- T.M. Moore
- March 9, 2017
If we have the Spirit, we will pray.
Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore