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Subjects

Prayer and Praying

James Dodson

Martin Luther leading in family prayer.

Martin Luther leading in family prayer.

THE NECESSITY AND BLESSING OF PRAYER

"Prayer without fervency and violence is no prayer; it is speaking, not praying. Lifeless prayer is no more prayer than the picture of a man is a man. To say a prayer is not to pray; Aschanius taught his parrot the Lord's Prayer.

Ambrose said it well, 'It is the life and affection in a duty that baptizeth it, and gives it a name.' It is the violence and wrestling of the affections that make it a prayer, else it is no prayer. But a man may say as Pharaoh, 'I have dreamed a dream' (Gen. 41.15).

The zeal and violence of the affections in prayer best suits God's nature. He is a Spirit (John 4.24), and surely that prayer which is full of life and spirit is the savory meat He loves, "spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God" (1 Pet. 2.5). Spirituality and fervency in duty is like the spirits of wine, which are the more refined part of the wine. Bodily exercise profits little. It is not the stretching of the lungs, but the vehemency of the desire, that makes music in God's ears."—Thomas Watson, Heaven Taken by Storm. (1670).

 

WORKS ON PRAYER AND PRAYING: 

 

Private Social Prayer:-1840-Andrew Symington.-In this discourse, Symington addresses the duty and privilege of prayer particularly as a private social exercise ("where two or three are gathered"). He gives both reasons and petitions for the matter of such private prayer gatherings. This covers much of devotional concern, including method of prayer.