Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray to him?
I. THE EXERCISE ASSUMED. "If we pray unto Him." Prayer implies —
1. A consciousness of want. Man is a needy creature. Destitution is his inheritance. They are best qualified to pray who know most of themselves.
2. Prayer supposes a Being capable of supplying our wants. This Being must know our necessities, and possess sufficient benevolence and power to supply them. Such is the Almighty. Prayers to saints or angels are impious, as they transfer the homage from the Creator to the creature; and absurd, as angels are as dependent as men.
3. Prayer implies an approach towards the Almighty. Man is an alien from God; far gone from original righteousness. When he begins to pray, his mind turns towards God. Hence prayer is called feeling after God, looking to Him, seeking His face, and pouring out the heart before Him.
4. Prayer includes an expression of our wants. We may express our wants fully; we should do it humbly and importunately. We should pray in faith.
II. THE INQUIRY INSTITUTED. "What profit should we have," etc. Selfishness is universally prevalent in the world. Wicked men are invariably selfish men. Because prayer is deemed unprofitable, therefore it is neglected. There is no exercise under heaven attended with so much profit as prayer.
1. Prayer contributes to the removal of evil. Of moral evil. Of natural evil — affliction and oppression.
2. Prayer is instrumental in procuring good. All good, for body and soul, for time and eternity.
(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)
Parallel VersesKJV: What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?