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gregation of his people, on which occasions, public forms of prayer were used by the Jews.
The Israelites had a form of thanksgiving, when they offered the first fruits of the ground. Deut. xxvi, 3-15.
The prayer used by Solomon at the dedication of the temple, when all Israel were assembled. 1 Kings viii, 54-56. David's prayer, when the ark was brought back. 1 Chron. xvi, 7--36. Jehoshaphat's prayer, when his country was invaded. 2 Chron. XX, 5--13. King Hezekiah commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord, with the words of David and Asaph. 2 Chron. xxix, 29.-30. A form of prayer was used when the foundation of the second temple was laid. Ezra. iii, 10, 11.
The whole multitude were praying without at the time of incense. Luke i, 10.
Peter and John went into the temple at the hour of prayer. Acts iii, 1. 2. Social prayer, the worship of God with our families, or friends.
Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matt. xviii, 19, 20. These all continued with
Acts i, 14.
one accord in prayer and supplication.
He came to the house of Mary, where many were gathered together praying. Acts xii, 12.
3. Private prayer, or the worship of God in secret. All good men have agreed in the necessity of this. Religion consists in walking with God, and trying to please him, in striving against sin, and making progress in holiness. A life of prayer alone will enable us thus to devote ourselves to his service, and we therefore find, that all the saints of God have been men of prayer.
We have a great many instances of our Saviour's retiring to pray alone. Mark i, 35; Luke xxii, 44. Abraham, Gen. xvii, 18, 20.—Eliezer, Gen. xxiv, 12, 56.---Jacob, Gen. xxxii, 24-30.-Moses, Exod. xvii, 11; xxxiii, 13, 14.Hannah, 1 Sam. i, 10.—Samuel, 1 Sam. viii, 6.-David, 2 Sam. xv, 31.--Solomon, 1 Kings iii, 9.-Jabez, 1 Chron. iv, 10. Daniel, Dan. vi, 10.—The woman of Canaan, Matt. xv, 25.— Cornelius, Acts x, 2.-) -Paul, 2 Cor. xii, 8.
Should we not often be employed in the holy exercise of prayer?
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Isa. lv, 6.
Praying always with all prayer. Eph. vi, 18,
In every thing, by prayer and supplication, let your requests be nïade known unto God. Phil, iv, 6.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same, Col. iv, 2.
I will that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands. 1 Tim. ii, 8. ye sober and watch unto prayer. 1 Pet. iv, 7.
What authority have you to expect that God will hear prayer?
The Bible is full of encouragements to pray.
Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee. Job xxii, 27.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. Ps. xxxiv, 15; 1 Pet. iii, 12.
Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Ps. 1, 15.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him. Ps. xci, 15.
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. Ps.'cxlv, 19.
Before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isa. lxv, 24.
Then shall ye call
upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jer. xxix, 12, 13. They shall call on my name, and I will hear them. Zech. xiii, 9. Ask, and it shall be given you: if ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father, which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? Mat. vii, 7, 11; Luke xi, 13.
All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Mat. xxi, 22.
If any man be a worshipper of God, and doth his will, him he heareth, John ix, 31.
If ye abide in me, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John xv, 7.
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. Rom. x, 13.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. James i, 5.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James v, 16.
If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. 1 John v, 14.
What time should you more especially set apart for private prayer?
We should endeavour to live continually in a spirit of dependence upon 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.
Ps. iv, 17.
In the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Ps. lxxxviii, 13.
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, lifeless manner, 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.-O God, the strength of all them that put their trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers.
3d Sunday after Trinity.—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 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. No. 2.
ON THE INTRODUCTION.
Why 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 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,
How many general parts are there in this prayer?
1. The introduction or address.
2. The six petitions.
3. The doxology, which is the conclusion.
What is the introduction or address?
Our Father which 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.
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 be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John iii, 3.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God. 1 John iii, 2.
Whosoever believeth is born of God. 1 John v, 1.
Every good and perfect gift cometh from the Father of lights, James i, 17.
Blessed be God, &c. who hath begotten us again. 1 Pet. i, 3, 4. 3. He is their Father by adoption.
Is not he thy Father that hath bought thee? Dent. xxxii, 6.
When ye pray, say, Our Father.
Luke xi, 2.
Ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba,
Ye are all the children of God, by faith, in Christ Jesus. Gal. iii, 26.
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.
Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matt. vi, 8.
If his son ask bread, will a man give him a stone? Matt. vii, 9.
As a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.
Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth. Heb. xii, 6.
We have bad fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, &c. how 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 bonoureth 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 a son in his own image. Gen. v, 3.
Be ye holy, for I am holy. Lev. xi, 44; xix, 2; 1 Pet. i, 16.
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 exhortation;