Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1.2-4
An Humble Attempt
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
“There is perhaps no one thing the Bible so much promises, in order to encourage the faith, hope, and prayers of the saints as [the promise of the Spirit]; which affords to God’s people the clearest evidences that it is their duty to be much in prayer for this mercy. For, undoubtedly, that which God abundantly makes the subject of his promises, God’s people should abundantly make the subject of their prayer. It also affords them the strongest assurances that their prayers shall be successful. With what confidence may we go before God, and pray for that, of which we have so many exceeding precious and glorious promises to plead!”
We pray for a good many things that we would like to have – health, safety, provision, friends and family, a healthy and growing church, and so forth. But it may not please God to give these to us. After all, none of them is specifically promised. However, if we’re honest, I think most of us would agree that the bulk of time we do spend in prayer is invested in such matters. Meanwhile, that which God does promise – to give us His Spirit for revival – we almost never seek. The promise of the Spirit is the capstone of those exceedingly great and precious promises of God, for in Him, and in Jesus Christ, all other promises find their “Yes!” and “Amen!” Are we ignorant of God’s promises? Do we not find them most desirable? Or do we hope to persuade Him to change His promises to suit our interests, rather than His? If we seek the promises of God, we shall not be disappointed.
How might you be able to encourage the various groups of your church to begin praying earnestly and consistently, whenever they are together, for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit?
J. Edwin Orr on Revival
If you need convincing of what God can do when He brings revival, and of the role praying for revival can have in seeing great blessings come to pass, watch the brief video by Dr. J. Edwin Orr, “The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening.” It’s an older video (1970s) and well-worn, but the message and challenge are sound. Set aside 25 minutes today, then click here, and hold on to your seat as the foremost historian of revival calls us to consider what could happen in our day, and how we should be preparing for it.
Pastors’ Webinar on Forgiveness
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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 are from Jonathan Edwards, An Humble Attempt, &c. in Edward Hickman, ed. The Works of Jonathan Edwards(Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1834, 1995), Vol. Two, pp. 278ff.