1996-09-05 - Prayer
Welcome all, Today Dan and I are switching. I would like to give you all
the advice of Isaac Watts on prayer and a short result of this sort of praying.
Isaac Watts is perhaps the greatest hymn writer that ever lived. I will never
forget singing, "When I survey the Wondrous Cross" at his graveside in London
with 35 or so Christians. Here are his thoughts on prayer:
"There is such a thing as correspondence with heaven; and prayer is a
great part of it while we dwell on earth. Who would not be ambitious to
correspond with heaven? Do we have no desire to talk to God? What does that
suggest about the state of our souls?
Prayer is a sacred and appointed means to obtain all the blessings we
want, whether they relate to this life or the life to come. Needy people
ought to be prayerful people. How can we live or die without praying to God?
Prayer is the divine delight and exceeding great advantage...to our own
souls. In almost every other realm of life we are quick to do what is to
our own advantage. Only a person who is careless about his own spiritual
good can neglect prayer.
Some use of prayer is necessary if we would have our profession of being
Christians taken seriously. What!!? If we profess to be followers of Christ
and not know how to speak to the Father!" The blessings of God on our own
souls, families, churches and nations cannot be expected while prayer lies
so neglected and is performed so halfheartedly. If the need of this age is
the blessing of God, then prayer is the means of obtaining it. Let us then
be persuaded by Isaac Watts to pray, and look to God for his response of
"Late on a cold November night, I was retiring to rest. There was a knock
at my door, and an aged member of the church, a simple, praying, warm-hearted
man was introduced. After a brief silence he thus addressed me: My dear pastor,
I have come to tell you that God is about to revive his work among us. I
asked him why he so felt? I went into the Stable, said he, to take care of
my cattle two hours ago, and there the Lord had kept me in prayer until now.
And I feel that we are going to be revived. There could be no doubt as to
his sincerity. And that was the commencement of the first revival under my
Soli Deo Gloria,