Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Additional Thoughts on Prayer - Richard Sibbes

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:8

In the things we ask for in prayer, God knows the proper time so the answers are good for us. God gives us his cheque, but he will pay at his pleasure. The time is concealed in hidden to us, though not uncertain to God. Abraham bound Isaac and his hand was lifted up to kill, but deliverance came at the right moment. There are several reasons why the Lord delays to help and hear us. (1.) That our faith and dependence on him might be better tried. We know from experience that though the way is sore and we must be courageous, the outcome is joyful. Though the way is better, the victory will be great. The woman of Canaan had a good cause, but the Lord put her off that he might display her faith to us forever (Matt. 15:28). (2.) Sometimes it is done to humble us. ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ (James 4:6). Until we are nothing in our own eyes, he never comes with comfortable deliverance; or until we come to that pinch in which we cry, ‘Lord, how long?’ as Paul said of himself (Cor. 1:9). The Lord took away his hope of life that he might be humbled and know the only place to find life, help, and comfort in all his extremities. (3.) God puts us off longer to quicken our appetite. We are unwise to think that he intends to put us off forever. God does not want us to give up, but to press him so much the more. This experience once found is very sweet, though it smarts at the beginning. (4.) He delays and puts off our request to enhance the value of the. What comes lightly, goes lightly. We highly prize that which cost us dear. If the things of God did not cost us sighs and tears, we would think them easy to be had. God therefore, to enhance their value, keeps them off that we may know their true price.


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