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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

The Excellency of Prayer


B y  William   Huntington



     PRAYER  is  the  blessed means  which  God  has  appointed  to bring every grace from Christ  to  the  believer.   The believer is to let his  requests  be  made  known unto God, and for his encouragement  God  says that the prayer of the upright is His  delight,  yea, He says that He loves to hear it. "Let Me  hear  thy voice, let Me see thy face."

     PRAYER is the casting of our cares and  burdens  on  the  Lord.  It is the pouring out  of  the  soul  before Him, the showing forth of our trouble to Him.   Prayer  is comuning and corresponding  with  Christ  and  receiving  grace from His fulness  to  help  in  every  time  of  need.   It  is  keeping  open   the  intercourse between the Lord and His people.  It  is  their  way of paying morning and evening  visits  to  the  King of kings and Lord of lords.  It  is  their  going to Court and showing their respect and loyalty  there.  It is their means of keeping their debt book  clear;   of  cultivating  and  keeping  up   perfect  friendship with a Friend who loves at all times, and  therefore it should never be neglected.

     PRAYER  is  pouring out the soul unto  God  and  showing before HIM our troubles (Psalms 142: 2).  It  is  "casting our cares upon Him who careth  for  us"  (I.  Pet. 5:7); and our burdens upon HIM in whom  we  are  to say, "We have righteousness  and  strength."   It is opening the heart, the mind, and the mouth  to  Him,  who  hath said, "Call upon Me in  the  day  of  trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify  Me"  (Psalms 50: 15).  It is opening to HIM  who  is  the  well-beloved of His people, and who  has  said,  "Let  Me  hear thy voice, let Me see thy  face;  for  sweet  is thy voice, and thy countenance  is  comely  (Cant.  2:14).   It  is  besieging  the  everlasting  kingdom,  moving  the throne of grace  and  knocking  importunately  at the door of  mercy-- ncouraged  by  the promise, "Knock and it shall be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7).

     In  prayer we must take no denial.  If we  have but  a  feeling  sense of  our  wants,  a  Scripture  warrant to go upon or one promise to plead, we  must  sue,  argue, reason, plead,  supplicate,  intercede,  confess,  acknowledge, thank, bless, praise,  adore,  repeat,  importune, observe, take hold of, and  turn  to  advantage whatsoever may be of use to the  soul.   Sinners,  sensible of their lost estate  by  nature,  who   feel  their  need  and  poverty,   have   many  invitations,    encouragements,    precedents    and  promises.   They  have, under the teachings  of  the  Holy Spirit, to plead and rely upon the covenant  of  Jehovah, the oath of God, the merits of Christ,  and  all  His  covenant  engagements,  undertakings   and  performances;  the covenant characters He  sustains,  His  incarnation  and near  relationship  to  them-- together  with  all  the glorious  train  of  Divine  perfections found in the proclamation of the NAME of  God  to Moses (Ex. 34: 6,7)--for these  all  sweetly  harmonize  and brightly shine in  Christ  crucified,  who  has never once yet disappointed the hope  of  a  penitent sinner, but has graciously said, "Come unto  Me,  all ye that labour and are heavy laden,  and  I  will  give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).   His  promises,  like  Himself, are unchangeable, and this is one  of  them.   "Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no  wise cast out" (John 6:37).    

     PRIVATE  PRAYER is the Christian's  court-visit to  his God, the life and breath of his soul; it  is  the  ascent  of the heart to the Almighty,  and  its  returns  are  the descent of Christ  to  the  soul's  help.

     PRAYER is the assuasion of grief, the  easement  of  a burdened heart, and the vent of a joyful  one.   It  is  the  rich savour of  mystical  incense,  the  overflowing of a living fountain, an  all-prevailing  sacrifice,   and  the  delight  of   the   Almighty.   Moreover, it is the greatest, most blessed and  most  glorious  privilege,  with which  perishing  sinners  ever were favoured.

     PRAYER is a defense against the spirit of  this  world,  a bar to the inroads of vanity, a maul  upon  the head of the old man, and a lash of scorpions for  the  devil.   It  is  a bridle  in  the  jaws  of  a  persecutor,  a spell to a voracious enemy, a  dagger at  the  heart of a heretic, a key to  parables  and  dark  sayings, and a battering-ram on the  walls  of  salvation;  for  "the kingdom  of  heaven  suffereth  violence,  and the violent take it by force"  Matt.  11:12).

     PRAYER   from  the  lips  of  a  blind   beggar  compelled  the Sun of Righteousness to  stand  still  and   ive light to one who, till then, had  been  in  darkness (Luke 18:35-43).  It brought the Ancient of  Days   to  dwell  in  a  bush  (Exod.   3:4);   yea, Omnipotence  itself, held by its fervent power,  has been  constrained  to say, "Let me go, for  the  day  breaketh,"  but dust and ashes replied, "I WILL  NOT  LET  THEE GO except Thou bless me;" and God  blessed  him  there,  and  allowed  that  Himself  had   been  conquered,  and honoured His antagonist  by  styling  him,  "A PREVAILER WITH GOD" (Gen. 32:24-29).   Thus  was  Judah's Lion overcome and the lame  man  gained the victory.

     PRAYER  uncloses  the bountiful  hand  of  God,  opens  the  door  of mercy, retains  Christ  on  the  throne of the affections, and covers every rival and  usurper with shame and confusion of face.  It is the  believer's  Royal  Exchange, where he may  take  his  cares, burdens, snares and troubles; his  vexations,  temptations,  doubts  and fears; his  misgivings  of  heart,  sorrows  of  mind,  hardness  of  heart  and  ingratitude; together with his faintness,  unbelief,  spiritual  jealousy  and  rebellion;  also  all  his  disorders--the leprosy of sin, the evil within,  the  plague of his heart, or the plague of his head--with  deaf ears, blind eyes, feeble knees, languid  hands,  halting  feet and a stiff neck.  He may  there  take  all  his oppositions, persecutions,  false  charges,  slanderous  accusations, vile reproaches, and  there  get rid of and leave them all.  Our Saviour compared  His  followers  to "exchangers" (Matt.  25:27);  and  such they are, for in return for these troubles they  receive   from  their  heavenly  Banker   numberless  deliverances,    blessings   and    mercies;    many  refreshings,  renewings, revivals and  restorations;  large  returns  of  comfort, peace,  love  and  joy;  together   with  fresh  discoveries,  love   tokens,  wholesome   truths,  profound  mysteries,   glorious glimpses,   bright  prospects,  terrestrial   views, undoubted  evidences,  infallible  proofs,  heavenly lessons,     confirming     visits,      conspicuous  deliverances,  earnests,  pledges  and   foretastes;  reviving cordials, valuable banknotes in  "exceeding   reat and precious promises," payable this very day,  and every day through life, and even to millions  of  ages  after date, signed, sealed, and  delivered  by  Jehovah  Himself,  the "God that cannot  lie"  (Tit.  1:2).

     PRAYER  has  often  scattered  the  confederate  enemies of the soul, marred the schemes of opponents  (Neh.  6:14);  frustrated the tokens of  liars,  and  made  diviners mad.  It counteracts the  designs  of  Satan and his emissaries; it hath made the  minister  of truth to be an enemy to the world, the successful  rival  of  imposters  in the  pulpit,  the  envy  of  hypocrites, an eye-sore to the devil, the admiration  of perishing sinners, a spectacle to the world and a  wonder  to  himself.   He prays to  his  "Father  in  secret,  and  his  Father who seeth  in  secret  has  engaged  to  reward  him openly"  (Matt.  6:6).   By  prayer  the  poor  come up from the  dust,  and  the  beggar from the dung-hill, sit among the princes  of  God's people, and inherit the throne of glory.

     PRAYER  in  faith  has  brought  in   countless providential   mercies,   as   well   as   spiritual  blessings;  God could have granted them all  without  asking, but has condescended to honour this exercise  bysaying: "For all these things I will be  inquired of by the house of Israel that I may do it for them"  (Ezek. 36:37).

     PRAYER  hath  brought the souls of  some,  when  departed,  back  into their bodies again  (I.  Kings  17:17- 4;   Ii  Kings  4:32-37).   It  engages   the  Almighty   on   the  side  of  the   suppliant   and  establishes  an alliance with God.  It  has  stopped  the  bottles  of  heaven for  three  years  and  six  months,  and opened them again at the expiration  of  that  term (James 5:17,18).  Yea, it hath brought  a  miraculous  plenty into the house of a  poor  widow,  while  destruction  and  famine  were  reigning  all  around  in  universal triumph  (I.  Kings  17:8-16). 

     "All  things  are possible to  him  that  believeth"  (Mark  9:23).  And, "All things whatsoever he  shall  ask  in  prayer believing ye shall  receive"  (Matt.   1:22).   Prayer  hath brought health to  the  sick,  hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, eyes to the  blind, life to the dead, salvation to the lost;  and  hath  even driven the devil himself from the  hearts  of  many, and brought the God of heaven to dwell  in  his room.

     PRAYER is God's appointment, the Spirit's gift,  the  Saints'  privilege and the  scourge  of  Satan;  therefore, PRIZE IT AND USE IT.

     In  the face of Christ crucified,  God  appears  well-pleased, and shines with pleasure, approbation,  and  delight upon all that approach this  throne  of  grace,  sensible  of  their wants;  hence  faith  in  Christ  becomes  the only way of access,  all  other  avenues  are stopped up; in every other  view  God's  face,  as  well-pleased, is hid, and  the  sword  of  justice is brandished to keep this way entire,  this  way  of  the tree of life.  Here we  may  come  with boldness  to  the  throne  of  grace;  there  is  no  obstacle,  no  let, no hindrance, in this  way;  the  sword of justice is sheathed, the law magnified, the   ansom   price  paid,  the  devil   dethroned,   sin  expiated,  wrath endured, God well-pleased,  sinners  redeemed,  enemies  reconciled, and  gifts  received  from  the rebellious, that the Lord God might  dwell  among  them. -----Mr. Huntington, in a letter  to  a friend.



                    P R A Y E R


           Prayer an answer will obtain,

             Thought the Lord awhile delay;

           None shall seek His face in vain,

             None be empty sent away.


           When the woman came from Tyre,

             And for help to Jesus sought,

           Thought He granted her desire,

             Yet at first he answered not.


           Could she guess at His intent,

             When He to His followers said:

           "I to Israel's sheep am sent;

             Dogs must not have the children's bread"?


           From His words she draws a plea:--

             "Though unworthy children's bread,

           Be it so; yet one like me

             Surely may with crumbs be fed."


           Jesus then His mind revealed:

             "Woman, can'st thou thus believe?

           I to thy petition yield;

             All that thou wouldst have, receive."


           'Tis a pattern set for us,

             If we truly wait and pray;

           None who plead and wrestle thus,

             Shall be empty sent away.


                            JOHN NEWTON




   "Hear the prayer of thy servant." - Dan. 9:17.


         Father, whate'er of earthly bliss

           Thy sovereign will denies,

         Accepted at thy throne of grace,

           Let this petition rise.


         "Give me a calm, a thankful heart,

           From every murmur free;

         The blessings of thy grace impart,

           And make me live to thee.


         "Let the sweet hope that thou art mine,

           My life and death attend;

         Thy presence through my journey shine,

           And crown my journey's end."






          (Phil. 4:6; Acts 6:4; Dan. 9:3)


          Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,

            Uttered or unexpressed;

          The motion of a hidden fire,

            That trembles in the breast.


          Prayer is the burden of a sigh,

            The falling of a tear;

          The upward glancing of an eye,

            When none but God is near.


          Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,

            Returning from his ways;

          While angels in their songs rejoice,

            And cry, "Behold, he prays!"


          The saints in prayer appear as one,

            In word, and deed, and mind;

          While with the Father and the Son,

            Sweet fellowship they find.


          Nor prayer is made on earth alone;

            The Holy Spirit pleads;

          And Jesus, on the eternal throne,

            For sinners intercedes.


          O thou by whom we come to God,

            The Life, the Truth, the Way!

          The path of prayer thyself hast trod;

            Lord, teach us how to pray.