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If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. 1 John
1.14. What time should you more especially set apart for private
prayer? We should endeavour to live continually in a spirit of dependence on God, looking up to him for protection and blessing; but we should especially pray to him in the morning, before we go to our work and labour, that we may be preserved from the snares and temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and at night, before we go to rest, that we may not lie down with the sins of the day unpardoned. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord. Ps. v. 3. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray. Ps. lv. 17. Be merciful unto me; for I cry unto thee daily. Ps. lxxxvi. 3. I have cried day and night before thee. Ps. Ixxxviii. 1. In the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Ps. lxxxviii. 13. Let the lifting up of my hands be as the evening sacrifice. Ps.
cxli. 2. Daniel kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed,
and gave thanks before his God. Dan. vi. 10. In which of the three kinds of prayer should that excellent
form, called the Lord's Prayer, be used ? It was intended for our use in each of them. Bishop Beveridge says, “Although we may use many other words, there is nothing we can either want or desire, that is really good for us, or necessary either for life or godliness, but we ask it in this prayer of our Lord's composing; and that, too, in the same method, and in such terms as he himself would have us ask it in, by whose mediation only it can be granted.'
What a melancholy consideration is it, that we may justly fear there are so few families that pray. Men are willing to do things that have the appearance of religion, while they neglect private prayer, or, if their consciences will not allow this, yet they pray in a formal lifeles ner, without any serious impressions of the holiness of God, or of the vast number of their wants. May God quicken us to the performance of this important duty! 1st Sunday after Trinity.-0 God, the strength of all those who
put their trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, &c. 3d Sunday after Triris
Grant that we, to whom thou hast
given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid, be
defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities.10th Sunday after Trinity.—Let thy merciful ears, O Lord, be
open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask' such things as shall please thee.
ON THE LORD'S PRAYER.
§ 2. ON THE INTRODUCTION. WAY do you call this prayer the Lord's prayer ?
We know not what we should pray for as we ought, (Rom. viii. 26,) therefore our blessed Lord gave it to his disciples, as a pattern or direction, to teach them what should be the subject of their petitions, as in Matt. vi. 9. After this manner (or thus) pray ye; and also as a form to be used in offering up their petitions to God.
When ye pray, say, &c. Luke xi. 2.
3. The doxology, which is the conclusion. What is the introduction or address ?
66 Our Father who art in heaven." In what sense are true Christians taught to call God their
Father? 1. He is their Father by creation. Thus saith the Lord, that formed thee from the womb, &c. Isa.
xliv. 24. Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?
Mal. ii. 10. We are also his offspring. Acts xvii. 28. There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things.
1 Cor. viii. 6. 2. He is their Father by regeneration. This is necessary in order to become a child of God in this exalted relation; and must be wrought in us by the power of his Spirit, Israel is my son, even my first-born. Exod. iv. 22. Except a man bé born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,
John iii. 3.
Every good and perfect gift cometh from the Father of lights.
James i. 17. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again, &c.
1 Pet. i. 3. 4. 3. He is their Father by adoption. Is not he thy Father that hath bought thee? Deut. xxxii. 6. Doubtless thou art our Father, &c. Isa. Ixiii. 16. When ye pray, say, Our Father. Luke xi. 2. Ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba,
Father, &c. Rom. viii. 15, 16. Ye are all the children of God, by faith, in Christ Jesus. Gal.
iii. 26. Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son
into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Gal. iv. 6. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son. Gal. iv. 7. Predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ.
Eph. i. 5. Our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven
and earth is named. Eph. iii. 14, 15. What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that
we should be called the sons of God. 1 John iii. 1. They are admitted to all the privileges of children. A Father provides for his child. Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask
him. Matt. vi. 8. What man is there of you whom if his son ask bread, will he
give him a stone ? Matt. vii. 9. If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your
children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke xi. 13. He chastens his children. As a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth
thee. Deut. viii. 5. Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth. Heb. xii. 6. We have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we
gave them reverence, shall we not much rather, &c. Heb. xii.9. Yet, he pities them. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord, &c. Ps. ciii. 13.
Honour is due from the son to his father. A son honoureth his father.-If, then, I be a father, where is
mine honour ? Mal, i, 6.
Children bear a likeness to their parents, and endeavour to resemble them. If we, then, be the children of God, we shall make it our study and delight to conform ourselves to his image. Adam begat á son in his own image. Gen. v. 3. Be ye holy, for I am holy. Lev. xi. 44; xix. 2. 1 Pet. i. 16. Be ye followers (imitators) of God, as dear children. Eph. v. 1.
The privilege of sonship is given to all who receive the Lord Jesus. John i. 12. Ask yourselves, Are you the children of God ?
If you are living in sin, like the world around you, you have no right to the title of children of God, for ye are of your father the devil, yet hear the exhortationCome out from among them, and be ye separate; and I will
receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.
In the spirit of the Prodigal Son, (Luke xv. 18,) arise, and go to your Heavenly Father, and say unto him,-Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son; and you will be welcomed, even as he was; for Christ hath told us, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and
your God. John xx. 17. Why are you taught to address God as Our Father?
To point out to us the duty of loving all mankind, and of praying for others as well
as for ourselves. True Christians should endeavour to cultivate a spirit of love, even to their enemies, much more, therefore, to those who belong to the family of God. Pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you, that
ye may be the children of your father which is in heaven.
Matt. v. 44, 45. There is one God and Father of all. Eph. iv. 146. Praying always with all prayer-for all saints. Eph. vi. 18, Love as brethren, not rendering evil for evil, but contrariwise
blessing. 1 Pet. iii. 8, 9. Why are you taught to address God as Our Father who art
in heaven. Is he not everywhere present ? Yes: he fills both heaven and earth with his presence, but his throne is in heaven, where his glory is more especially manifested, and his blessings communicated to the holy angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. Being in heaven, he has all power, and is able to do exceeding abundantly for all those who call upon him, above all they can ask or thínk; but when we consider the majesty of our heavenly Father, we must approach him with the utmost reverence and humility. Behold, now I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord,
which am but dust and ashes. Gen. xviii. 27. I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me. Lev. x. 3.
Behold, the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee. 2 Chron.
vi. 18. The Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids
try, the children of men. Ps. xi. 4. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O) thou that dwellest in the
heavens. Ps. cxxii. 1. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit! or, whither shall I flee from
thy presence ? Ps. cxxxix. 7-10. Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God; and be
more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools. For
God is in heaven, and thou upon earth. Eccl. v. 1, 2. I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a
contrite and humble spirit. Isa. lvii. 15. We have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God. Heb. iv, 14. Looking unto Jesus --who-is set down at the right hand of
the throne of God. Heb. xii. 2. Wherefore let us have grace, whereby we may serve God ac
ceptably with reverence and godly fear. Heb. xii. 28. Many of the prayers recorded in the Scriptures, begin with the mention of God's glorious attributes, as those of Solomon, 1 Kings viii. 23.—Hezekiah, 2 Kings xix. 15.—Jehosha
phat, 2 Chron. xx. 6. — Nehemiah, Neh. j. 5. - Jeremiah, Jer. xxxii. 17.- Daniel, Dan. ix. 4. — Our Lord, Matt. xi. 25.Peter and John, Acts iv. 24.
When we enter into the presence of the King of kings, to offer him our petitions, may we always have a
sense of his majesty on our minds. Collect for Christmas day.-Grant that we, being regenerate,
and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit.
ON THE LORD'S PRAYER.
§ 3. ON THE FIRST PETITION. How many petitions are contained in the Lord's Prayer ?
Six. The first three respect the glory of God, and the last three have a reference to our own benefit, and that of the whole human race. 6. I desire my Lord God, our heavenly Father, who is the giver of all goodness, to send his grace unto me, and to all people, that we may worship him, serve him, and obey him, as we ought to do.” What is the first petition ?
" Hallowed be thy name.' What do you mean by the name of God ?
God himself, and all his perfections. See remarks on he first article of the Creed.