“I Love Prayer”

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“I love prayer.”

Sadly, that’s probably not something many Christians in my part of the world say very often.  Though it should be on the lips of every believer, this came from the lips of a long-dead saint–Matthew Henry.  In his book, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Joel Beeke explains why Henry could say with full joy and conviction, “I love prayer.”

Henry wrote in his diary, “I love prayer. It is that which buckles on all the Christian’s armour.” Since the Christian must wear God’s armor at all times, he must pray without ceasing. According to Henry, the access that Christians have to God in Christ gives them:

1. “a companion ready in all their solitudes, so that they are never less alone than when alone. Do we need better society than fellowship with the Father?”

2. “a counselor ready in all their doubts…a guide (Ps. 73:24), who has promised to direct with his eye, to lead us in the way wherein we should go.”

3. “a comforter ready in all their sorrows…[to] support sinking spirits, and be the strength of a fainting heart.”

4. “a supply ready in all their wants. They that have access to God have access to a full fountain, an inexhaustible treasure, a rich mine.”

5. “a support ready under all their burdens. They have access to him as Adonai [my Lord], my stay and the strength of my heart (Ps. 73:26).”

6. “a shelter ready in all their dangers, a city of refuge near at hand. The name of the Lord is a strong tower (Prov. 18:10).”

7. “strength ready for all their performances in doing work, fighting work. He is their arm every morning (Isa. 33:2).”

8. “salvation insured by a sweet and undeceiving earnest…. If he thus guides us by his counsel he will receive us to glory.”

If we spent time meditating on Henry’s thoughts on these biblical assurances of prayer, we might not only pray more, but come to love it.

To get a greater glimpse of how Matthew Henry prayed, check out his classic work A Method for Prayer.  You can get an older editions as a (free) pdf, a reprinted paperback, or a slightly modernized version. You can also go to a website dedicated to his work, which allows you to change Bible versions and get kindle or epub versions for free.

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