Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and thatHe is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11.6
Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“But who can believe that the man lives by faith who lives without prayer, which is the natural expression of faith? Prayer is as natural an expression of faith, as breathing is of life; and to say a man lives a life of faith, and yet lives a prayerless life, is every whit as inconsistent and incredible, as to say, that a man lives without breathing.”
For most of us, probably, it’s not that we don’t ever pray. We do. We pray some maybe in the morning. Then again at meals, or in starting or ending a meeting (if it’s “religious”), and perhaps as we retire at night. We pray. But our prayers are more like gasping than breathing. There’s not much rhythm, regularity, or fullness, and little of spiritual health resulting from our prayers. The state of our prayers provides a true measure of our faith. If we wish to have more faith, we need only ask. But then, we must come to the Lord in prayer to ask for more faith, and that takes a measure of faith, even to come. And if our faith is struggling – gasping – we may be reluctant to come before our Father. But let’s do so, by all means. Prayer expresses our faith, but it also renews, refreshes, and strengthens it. The more we pray, the more our faith will grow, and the more prayer will be the testament of our faith.
Suggest some ways you might add more prayer to your daily life. Begin doing so at once.
Introduction to Christian Worldview
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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).
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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.
Faith and Prayer
- T.M. Moore
- March 22, 2017
These reinforce one another.
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