Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD…” Jeremiah 29.12-14
Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“Hypocrites never counted the cost of perseverance in seeking God, and of following him to the end of life. To continue instant in prayer with all perseverance to the end of life, requires much care, watchfulness, and labour. For much opposition is made to it by the flesh, the world, and the devil; and Christians meet with many temptations to forsake this practice. He that would persevere in this duty must be laborious in religion in general.”
We cannot separate prayer from our daily walk with the Lord, and our daily walk with the Lord is hard work (cf. Phil. 2.12). We do not work for salvation; rather, the salvation we have received by grace through faith must be worked out by us, in the power of the Spirit, if we are to know full and abundant life in Christ. Unless we are earnest in seeking and following the Lord in every arena and at every moment of our daily lives, we won’t be very serious about or effective in secret prayer, either. And the reverse is equally true. Paul exhorts us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5.17), by which he seems to mean that we should ever sustain vital communion with the Lord and never be far from engaging a conversation with Him. Thus prayer informs true religion and true religion sustains and deepens secret prayer. So get ready for a lifetime of hard work.
What should we teach as the basic tools and disciplines for working out our salvation?
Introduction to Christian Worldview
Our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, uses twelve diagrams to provide a comprehensive framework for thinking and living Christianly in the world. It’s free, online, and available for you to study by yourself or with your leadership team, at your own pace and on your own schedule. For more information and to register, click here.
If Men Will Pray
Paul said that he wanted men everywhere to pray. But that won’t just happen. Someone will have to take the lead in showing men how to pray, enlisting them for the work, and helping them grow in consistency and power in their prayers. You have to start somewhere. Our booklet, If Men Will Pray, is a tool for learning to pray following Paul’s guidelines in 1 Timothy 2.1-8, and for enlisting another man for a 30-day prayer journey together. Watch this brief video, then order several copies of this booklet, and start enlisting your men for fuller, more consistent, and more satisfying lives of prayer (click here).
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.
Persevering in Prayer
- T.M. Moore
- March 15, 2017
Prayer, like the Christian life, is hard work.
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