Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Godly Man's Picture Chapter 4 (Part 10)

Today we will be looking at Watson's twelth characteristic of a godly man; prayer. "A godly man cannot live without prayer", says Watson. But do not hypocrites prayer? How is the prayer of a godly man different than that of a hypocrite? His answer is that the prayer of a godly man is spiritual. But how do we know if a prayer is spiritual or not? We are given 12 marks of a spiritual prayer:

  1. A spiritual prayer is with knowledge
  2. A spiritual prayer is when the heart and spirit pray
  3. A spiritual prayer is a fervent prayer
  4. A spiritual prayer comes from a broken heart
  5. A spiritual prayer is a believing prayer
  6. A spiritual prayer is a holy prayer
  7. A spiritual prayer is a humble prayer
  8. A spiritual prayer is when we pray in the name of Christ
  9. A spiritual prayer is when we pray out of love to prayer
  10. A spiritual prayer is when we have spiritual goals in prayer
  11. A spiritual prayer is accompanied by the use of means
  12. A spiritual prayer is that which leaves a spiritual mood behind upon the heart

Therefore, if one does not pray in this manner then he cannot be said to be praying spiritually. And if he is not praying spiritually then he is not godly. Nor are those that do not pray at all, nor those that pray seldom, nor those that do not pray "in the Holy Ghost". (By "praying in the Holy Ghost", Watson does not mean praying with tongues. Praying in the Holy Ghost, to Watson is praying a spiritual prayer).

We are urged by Watson to pray. Be as Daniel that prayed three times a day. Or a Martin Luther that prayed three hours every day. Some may ask, why bother praying when God has made so many promises of blessings? Because prayer is "the condition annexed to the promise". To further encourage us in prayer Watson says that "prayer is a seed sown in God's ear", it is also powerful, and it is accompanied by the promises of God. Furthermore, we must consider that the Holy One, Jesus Christ, is our Mediator and makes our prayers holy. Therefore, we must prayer aright. To do so is to pray in the ways mentioned, in the power of the Holy Spirit.


If sin, "poisons and infests prayer", how are we to ever pray as we ought? Perhaps this is the importance of "praying in the name of Christ". Whenever we pray "in the hope and confidence of Christ's mediation" we are hoping that he may purify our prayers with His righteousness.

I absolutely love Watson's eleventh mark of a spiritual prayer. So often we pray for things and then do not accompnay those prayers with the use of means. It is like the proverbial idiot that is stranded in a flood, refuses the help of a friendly boat and the rescue team, "because God is going to save him". God has given us the use of means. If we a praying for spiritual fruit and not using these means, then our failure is due to our ignorance, not God's inability to answer prayer.

What do you think Watson means when he says of those that do not "pray in the Holy Ghost" that "they exercise their inventiveness more than their affection"?

If prayer weeds out sin and waters grace, is it still grace? Must grace be watered?

Do you agree that prayer, "finds God free, but leaves him bound"?

Strokes of genius:

"If the heart does not accompany duty, it is speaking, not praying. (89)

"Praying without faith is shooting without bullets." (90)

"[The godly man] is not forced [to pray] with fear but fired with love" (92)

"To pray for holiness and neglect the means is like winding up the clock and taking off the weights." (93)

"Prayer is a bomb which will make heaven's gates fly open." (96)

On to Part 11...

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