It Calls for Much Watchfulness and Prayer

“We know, from experience how, little reading, and hearing and resolving, can do for us, when the Lord is absent and our hearts in a hard and stupid frame. Alas! how can we render, unless we first receive? But oh, when his Spirit and power are with us, what a delightful surprising change! Then old things become new, hard things easy; and out of weakness we are made strong! Then our enemies attempt in vain to bind and ensnare us; he enables us to run through their troops, to leap over their walls, to esteem their darts and swords as straw and rotten wood and to go forth in his strength, conquering and to conquer. I hope my letter will find you in this experience, with your bow abiding in force and your enemies under your feet, and may it long continue. This is a privileged, glorious state indeed; but it calls for much watchfulness and prayer. The Lord expects a particular closeness and obedience from those whom he thus delights to honour, and Satan watches with envy and rage to find an opening by which to assault such a soul.

“I hope you will remember that all your comfort and prosperity depends upon keeping near to him who is the sun, the shield, the life of his poor children, and that neither experiences, knowledge, nor attainments can support us, or maintain themselves, without a continual supply from the fountain. This supply is kept up by constant prayer, and prayer will languish without continual watchfulness.”

—John Newton

The Works of the Rev. John Newton, vol IV (New Haven: Nathan Whiting, 1826), 230-231.

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