Pray the Bible?


It is made our duty and prescribed as a remedy against disquieting care, that in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we should make our requests known to God. And it is part of the Parrhsia, the boldness, the liberty of speech (so the word signifies), which is allowed us in our access to God, that we may be particular in opening our case and seeking to him for relief; that, according as the sore and the grief is, accordingly the prayer and the supplication may be by any man. Not that God needs to be particularly informed of our condition, he knows it better than we ourselves do, and our souls too in our adversity; but it is his will that we should thus acknowledge him in all our ways and wait upon him for the direction of every step, not prescribing, but subscribing to infinite wisdom, humbly showing him our wants, burdens, and desires, and then referring ourselves to him, to do for us as he knows fit.

Matthew Henry, Method for Prayer

Publisher Description:

Resorting to a more scriptural pattern of prayer may be a simple (but profound) answer to many problems in our practice of prayer. There are a number of reasons that could be given as to why Christians should “Pray the Bible,” but the ones below combine to make a rather convincing argument:

  • Praying scripturally will teach us what prayer is, even while we do it.
  • It will correct “shopping list” views of prayer which abound in the Christian community.
  • It will begin to solve in our own minds the question of “unanswered prayer.”
  • It will remind us of just how much there is to pray about day by day.
  • It will teach us of the extreme urgency of prayer.
  • It will return proportion to prayers long on petition, but short on adoration, confession, and thanksgiving.
  • It will instruct us how best to pray for ministers, missionaries, and one another.
  • It will show us the proper way to approach God in prayer.
  • It will remind us of the good things that God does for us (which we, more often than not, take for granted).
  • It will remind us to always give thanks to God (which, paradoxically, is so important for our own assurance of His faithfulness in answering prayer).
  • It will begin to engrave in our minds biblical patterns of thought which can help immunize us from the enticing folly of the world’s view of life.
  • It will force us to rehearse the solemn warnings and precious promises of God (which will do eternal good to our souls).
  • It will move us from our inherent man-centeredness in prayer to a biblical, God-centered way of praying.

The aim of the online publication of this “old-made-new” monograph is to assist and encourage modern Christians in both public and private prayer. Surely we all recognize that the Church of our day, at least in the West, is weak in the way of prayer. Few of us, perhaps, understand what prayer really is. We do not pray often. We do not pray with scriptural proportion, nor does our prayer much reflect the language and thought of the Bible. We do not pray fervently. Although we claim otherwise, maybe we really do not believe in prayer!

For those who are called upon to lead the Church in public prayer, or who simply desire to be more faithful and competent in their own private petitions, a scriptural manner of praying provides the order, proportion, and variety which should characterize all our prayers. We have aimed to provide users with a number of helps to assist in achieving this end. The core of the website is the entire text of Matthew Henry’s A Method for Prayer. Reading and re-reading through it will train the Christian in the use of biblical truth and language in prayer.

 

Matthew Henry Monday


henry method for prayerLet us now lift up our hearts, with our eyes and hands, to God in heaven. Lamentations 3:41

Let us rouse ourselves to take hold of God, Isaiah 64:7 to seek his face, Psalm 27:8 and to ascribe to him the glory due his name. Psalm 29:2

Unto you, O Lord, do we lift up our souls. Psalm 25:1

Let us now with confidence enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh. Hebrews 10:19-20

Let us now attend to the Lord with undivided devotion, 1 Cor 7:35 and let not our hearts be far from him when we draw near to him with our mouths and honor him with our lips. Isaiah 29:13

Let us now worship God, who is spirit, in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. John 4:23–24

Matthew Henry, A Method For Prayer

Matthew Henry Monday


Every Monday (or every once in a while on a Monday) ws harbor likes to dedicate a post to Matthew Henry. Henry (10/18/1662 – 06/22/1714) was a commentator on the Bible and Presbyterian minister of the Gospel. We recommend his works for devotional purposes.

The breaking out of passion and rash anger.

I have not had the rule which I ought to have had over my own spirit, which has therefore been like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28

I have been quick in my spirit to become angry, and anger has lodged in my bosom. Ecclesiastes 7:9 And when my spirit has been made bitter, I have spoken rashly with my lips, Psalm 106:33 and have been guilty of that clamor and bitterness which should have been put far from me. Ephesians 4:31

My covetousness and love of the world.

My life has not been free from love of money, Hebrews 13:5 nor have I learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11

Who can say that he is clean from that love of money which is the root of all kinds of evil, 1 Timothy 6:10 that covetousness which is idolatry? Colossians 3:5

I have sought great things for myself when you have said, “Seek them not.” Jeremiah 45:5

My sensuality and flesh-pleasing.

I have set my mind on the things of the flesh more than the things of the Spirit, Romans 8:5 and have lived on the earth in luxury and in self – indulgence, and have fattened my heart in a day of slaughter. James 5:5

I have made provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires, Romans 13:14 even those passions which wage war against my soul; 1 Peter 2:11 and in many instances, I have acted as if I had been a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God. 2 Timothy 3:4