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Learning to Pray from Others

July 10, 2014 | by: Mike Law | 0 Comments

Recently I’ve been dipping in and out of Matthew Henry’s wonderful book, A Method for Prayer. If you ever have difficulty getting going in your prayer life, then I highly recommend reading over the prayers of other brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s good and right for us to learn how to pray from other faithful saints who know how to plead and petition our Heavenly Father in prayer.

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer covers several sections, but I’ve been focusing most of my attention on his sections pertaining to Adoration, Confession, Petition, Thanksgiving, and Intercession. I’ve been most humbled in the sections concerning confession, and most encouraged to remember God’s great mercy toward me in the sections related to Thanksgiving. The great thing about Henry’s book is that he not only provides examples of prayers, but they are almost entirely based upon direct references to Scripture. I want to share a few of those biblical prayers of thanks in just a moment, but here is the important word that Mr. Henry has for us at the outset of his chapter on Thanksgiving:

“Our errand at the throne of grace is not only to seek the favor of God, but to ascribe to him the glory due his name (Psalm 29:2), and that, not only by an awful adoration of his infinite perfections, but by a grateful acknowledgment of his goodness to us, which cannot indeed add anything to his glory, but he is pleased to accept of it and to reckon himself glorified by it, if it comes from a heart that is humbly sensible of its own unworthiness to receive any favor from God, that values the gifts and loves the Giver of them” [Matthew Henry, A Method for Prayer: Freedom in the Face of God, (Scotland, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2007), p.79].

Here are a few prayers of thanks that recently encouraged me, which I pray encourage you:

We bless you that Jesus Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners (such as we are) to repentance (Matthew 9:13), and had power on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6); that he came to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21), and is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29); and that he is (to his honor, not to his reproach) a friend to tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19).

We thank you for the gracious invitation he gave to those who are weary and heavy laden to come to him for rest (Matthew 11:28): And for the assurance he has given that whoever comes to him, he will never cast out (John 6:37).

That he made a gracious offer: that if anyone thirsts they might come to him and drink (John 7:37). [Matthew Henry, p.89]

We should always thank God for these and his many other kindnesses to us.

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