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Essay on the nature of the duty of Prayer; the foundation of it; the manner in which it is to be performed; the ends and design of it; and the encouragements to the duty. And also some forms of Prayer are annexed to teach, as a sample, the people of God, in what way it is proper to address the Throne of Grace, and hold correspon. dence with the fountain of being and blessedness. There are, indeed, sev. eral well composed forms of devotion in the world, written by ministers of the greatest talents and piety, These may be of excellent use to instruct us, both in the matter and language of prayer. The committee now offer this small volume on the great subject of prayer, to the public; hoping, that by the grace of the Holy Spirit, it may be the means of assisting the pious of all denominations, in prayer, which is the principal branch of religious wor. ship.
Hartford, Dec. 1803.
, to the c on the ce now
HENRY ON PRAYER.
Invocation and Adoration.
T ET us now attend upon the Lord with. W out distraction, and let not our hearts be far from him, when we draw nigh to him with our mouth, and honor him with our lips.a
Let us now worship God, who is a Spir. it, in spirit and in truth ; for such the Father seeks to worship him.b '. Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come.c
O thou, whose name is Jehovah,' and art the most high over all the earth.d
Rev. iv. 8.
a Matt. xv. 8. 6 John iv. 23, 24.
O God, thou art our God, early will we seek thee;e our God, and we will praise thee ; our Father's God, and we will exalt thee.f
Thou art the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning, and from whom proceeded every good and perfect gift.go.
Thou art the blessed and only Potentate ; the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen or can see.h
We therefore come to thee believing that thou art, and that thou art the bountiful rewarder of all them that diligently seek thee.i
We cannot by searching find out God, we cannot find out the Almighty unto perfec- , tion.k
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
Who is a God like unto thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? m
As heaven' is high above the earth, so are thy thoughts above our thoughts, and thy ' ways above our ways.n
All nations before thee are as a drop of the bucket, or the small dust of the balance,
e Psal. Ixiii. 1. f Exod. xv. 2. & James i. 17.
and thou takest up the isles as a very little thing: they are as nothing, and are counted to thee less than nothing and vanity.o
Thou art the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God.p
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God:9 the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.r
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands : they shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old, like a garment, as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed ; but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.s
We cannot go from thy presence, or fly from thy Spirit : if we ascend into heaven thou art there ; if we make our bed in hell, behold thou art there ;. if we take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead us, and thy right hand hold us.t
All things are naked and open unto the eyes of him, with whom we have to do; even the thoughts and intents of the heart.u
Thou searchest the heart, and triest the
o Isai. xl. 15. 17. p 1 Tim.j. 17. q Psalın xc. 2.
Heb. xiii. 8. & Psalm cii. 25, 26, 27. t Psalm cxxxix. 7, 8, 9, 10. u Heb. iv, 12, 13.
reins, that thou mayest give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.w · O God, thou hast searched us and known us, thou knowest our down-sitting and up, rising, and understandest our thoughts afar off: thou compassest our path and our lying-down, and art acquainted with all our ways : there is not a word in our tongue but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.x "
Thy understanding, O Lord, is infinite.y
Thou art wonderful in counsel and excel. lent in working.z , O Lord, how manifold are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them alla
Thy dominion is an everlasting dominion, and thy kingdom is from generation to gen. eration : thou dost according to thy will in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay thy hand, or say unto thee, what doest thou ? or why doest thou so ? 6
We know, O God, that thou canst do ev. ery thing, and that no thought can be with, holden from thee:c and that with thee nothing is impossible.d
All power is thine, both in heaven and in earth.e
w Jerem. xvii. 10. * Psal. cxxxix. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6.