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mankind) from assaulting us with his prevailing temptations ; or else restraineth us from coming into those ways where temptations are waiting for us, and where we should be tempters unto ourselves. Matth, xxvi. 41, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. Psal. xix, 13, Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over me.
Q. 3. What do we request in praying, Deliver us from evil ?
A. In praying, Deliver us from evil, we request, that, when we are tempted by the devil, or the flesh, or the world, unto sin, we may be supported and strengthened to resist and overcome the temptations, so as to be delivered by the power of God's sufficient grace, from falling into the evil of sin. James iv. 7, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 1 Cor. x. 13, God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able. 2 Cor. xii. 7, 8,,,9, There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee.
Q. 107. What doth the conclusion of the Lord's prayer teach us?
A. The conclusion of the Lord's prayer, which is, For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen, teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power and glory to him; and in testimony of our desire and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.
Q. 1. What is the conclusion to the Lord's prayer itself?
A. The conclusion to the Lord's prayer itself, is in these words, For thine is the kingdom, the flower, and the glory, forever, Amen. •v >
Q. 2. What is the first thing which this conclusion of the Lord's prayer doth teach us?
A. The first thing which this conclusion of the Lord's Y
prayer doth teach us, is, to take our encouragement ift prayer, not from ourselves, or any worthiness of our own,' but from God only, who having the kingdom and eternal sovereignty, the power, and eternal all-sufficiency, the glory forever, and therefore incomparably glorious in his faithfulness, goodness, and most tender mercy, we ma)*persuade ourselves, that he is both able to give what we ask, and that he is willing, and will give what he hath promised unto us. Dan. ix. 18, 19, We do not present our supplications for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies, O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord,' hearken, and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God. Psal. v. 2, Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my king, and my God; for unto thee will I pray. Eph. iii. 20, 21, Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh 'in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Q. 3. What is the second thing which this conclusion of the Lord's prayer doth teach us?
A. The second thing which this conclusion of the Lord's prayer doth teach us, is, in our prayers to God/to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory unto him. 1 Chron. xxix. 10, 11, 13, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our Father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, and thou art exalted as head above all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name? 1 Tim. i. 17, Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only- wise God, be honour and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
: Q. 4. Why are we to say, Amen.
A. We are to say, dmen, which signifieth, so be it, or so shall it be, in testimony of our desires and assurance to be heard. Rev. xxii. 20, Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
A RAYER is not only an indispensable duty, but an inestimable privilege. It is an important part of that worship which all men owe to God, and so essential to religion, that without it there can be none. It affords the noblest relief and support to the christian in all his dangers and distresses; is an important mean of his growth in grace, of communion with theFather of his spirit, of his overcoming the world, and of obtaining the inheritance of the saints in light. It has great prevalence in averting divine judgments from a people, and in obtaining for them the richest blessings. It is the surest defence of individuals, families, and whole nations. Family religion, including prayer, pious instruction, and government, is no less important. Only these two very much depend the religion, comfort and salvation of individuals, the religion, good order, honor and prosperity of families, of the church and commonwealth. In these the divine honor, and the present and endless happiness of men are most deeply concerned.' Scarcely any thing, among a people who**
fathers were men of prayer, and who, like Abraham, hare commanded, That their children and households after them should keep the way of the Lord,(a) can be a greater apostacy, t than a casting off fear, and restraining prayer before God, and the neglect of family religion. It is at once sinking down from • state of Christianity, under the light of the glorious gospel, into« state of heathenism. It is at the same time awfully calculated to bring down the wrath of God on all such children of impiety and disobedience. If men will forsake God, he will cast them offforever.(b) Since therefore it is lamentably evident, that prayer and family religion are exceedingly neglected, and rapidly on the decline, how deeply should it affect every heart • How should it awaken the united exertions of all who love human nature, of all who seek the prosperity of Zion, and wash the duration and happiness of our nation, to remedy these alarming impieties, and to restore us to our primitive state ? To effect these happy purposes, as far as may be, by the. divine blessing, is the design of this address.
Prayer is certainly an act of natural worship. If there be a God of infinite perfection, nothing is more certain than that he ought to be worshipped as such: and prayer is a principal part of that homage which we owe him, as our creator, constant preserver and benefactor. His perfections challenge our supreme love and most perfect obedience : his daily care over us, and countless mercies towards us, our continual thanksgivings s our daily sins, our constant penitential supplications for his pardoning goodness: and our continual wants that we should always be asking his help. Prayer therefore is but our reasonable service. It is founded in the very nature of things, in the infinite perfection of God, in our relation to him and dependence on him. The very heathen cried, every man to his God. They sacrificed and made vows.(c)
Further, the express commands of God oblige men, m all places, and circumstances, to-pray to him : To pray with all kinds of prayer and supplication : to pray without ceasing, and without fainting. It is written, Trust in him at all times ; ye people, pour out your hearts before him.) I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubt ing-(e) Jesus Christ abundantly inculcated the duty of prayer, He spake a parable to this end that men ought always to pray and not tofaint-(f) He commanded, That men should watch and pray always. He expressly enjoined this as absolutely necessary to guard them from temptation, to give them victory over the world, and that they might stand before him with victory and triumph at the last day. Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation) Watch ye therefore and pray always: that ye may
(a) Gen. xviii. 19. (b) 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. (c) Jonah i. S. 16. (d) Psalm lxii. 8. (e) 1 Tim. it. 8. (f) Luke xviii. 1. (g) Matth. Xxti. 41.
te accounted worthy to escape all these things which shall come t» past, and to stand before the son of man-(h) The apostles were no less express and abundant in inculcating this great duty. This was their language to the churches, Pray without ceas*"<?•(') Watch unto prayer-Q) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints-(k) These passages expressly command men to pray always, never to cease praying at the proper times and occasions of prayer : That men watch for those times and occasions, that they should not fail of attending and improving them to their edification and comfort •, and that they should watch their hearts, that they might always be in a suitable frame for prayer: That they should pray with all kinds of prayer used among christians, and persevere in them to the end. The apostle Paul enjoins this praying always with all prayer, as of the highest necessity for christians ; that they - may succeed in their spiritual warfare ; even after they have taken the whole armour of God, and done all things else to stand. Without this they never can stand and win the field. Thus a« bundantly is prayer enjoined, and the necessity of it shown, and the duty pressed upon all men universally by our blessed Saviour and his apostles.
Secret prayer is expressly commanded by Christ, who 'was a remarkable example of prayer. But thou, when thou pray est, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in se+ tret shall reward thee openly (1) He not only commanded this and encouraged it by a most gracious promise of an open reward, but recommended it by his example. He retired into mountains and solitary places, and it seems sometimes spent whole nights in prayer. And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to Go</.(m) How doth this command and example of Christ, teach and oblige all men to be constant and abundant in secret prayer, and in the secret duties of religion?
Further, as all kinds of prayer are expressly commanded, praying always with all prayer and supplication, family prayer is included. This certainly is one kind of prayer. All heads of families are therefore indispensably obliged, by the divine authority and express precept, to pray with their respective households. Besides as reason teachcth us to pray in general, and ag we are expressly commanded to pray to God in secret, because he is worthy to be worshipped; because we are his creatures and owe him all the homage of our hearts and lives ; because 'we are entirely dependent on him, and have innumerable wants
(h) Luke xxi. 36. compared with chapter xxii. 40, 46. (i) 1 Thes. v. 17. (j) 1 Pet. iv. 7. (k) Ephea. vi. M. (1) MfcUh-- vi«. (m) Luke vi. 12.