Lessons on Prayer – from Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) – 2

In what follows, I am going to lay out some lessons on prayer that I have learned from Jonathan Edwards sermons on the topic.


The sermon can be found here.

“Will he always call upon God?” ~ Job 27:10

1. Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer
1.1. Can you imagine your pastor giving a sermon with such a title !!!
2. JE’s contention is that some people will only call upon God for a season. And there are various reasons JE will give for this.
2.0. Me: I feel I have observed some of this in my life. People come under these temporary convictions. They pray for a season.
2.1. Fear of Hell
2.2. Affected by God’s goodness
2.3. On account of habits
3. Edwards then moves on to discussing how the habit drops off … it cuts down to public or family events. External attendance
3.1. Conformity
3.2. When personal private prayer starts to die out… it may still continue for a bit for conscience’s sake.
4. Why does this happen?
4.1. JE says that its because they never received the spirit of prayer to begin with. This is a grace given by God.
4.2. JE seems to be saying that the spirit of prayer that we receive is God’s very own Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts. ******
4.3. A lack of a sense of need for prayer.
4.4. JE points out that the plainest command in Scriptures is that of praying. Disobedience is another reason.
4.5. They return to sinful practices that keep them from prayer.
4.6. They lack perseverance. Prayer grows irksome and tedious.
4.7. They are not mindful of God’s promises.
5. Application
5.1. JE actually comes out and says to people bluntly – if since you have been “converted”, you have dropped off your habits off prayer, then you need to drop the idea that you are a child of God.
5.2. JE tells them that they need to cast off their false hope that they are saved – not on account of what others think. That is a small matte. However on account of the judgment of God. “It is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man’s judgment.” 1 Cor. 4:3
5.3. A huge focus on perseverance is here…