Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Soul-searching a Great Fountain of Prayer

Acquaintance with your own hearts would be a fountain of matter to you in prayer.

A man that is diligent in heart-work and knows the state of his own soul, will have a fountain-fulness of matter to supply him richly in all his addresses to God; his tongue shall not falter and make pause for want of matter; Psal. xlv.1 "My heart is inditing a good matter:" or, as Montanus renders the original, my heart is boiling up good matter, like a living spring, that is still bubbling up fresh water; and then my tongue is as the pen of a ready writer. Others must pump their memories, rack their inventions, and are often at a loss, when they have done all; but if thou have kept, and faithfully studied, thine own heart, it will be with the (as Job speaks in another case) like bottles full of new wine that want vent, which are ready to burst. As holy matter flows plentifully, so more feelingly and sweetly from such a heart. When a heart-experienced Christian is mourning before God over some special heart-corruption, wrestling with God for the supply of some special inward want, he speaks not as other men do that have learned to pray by rote; their confessions and petitions are squeezed out; his drop freely, like pure honey from the comb. It is a happiness to be with or near such a Christian. (Volume 5, page 500, Complete Works of John Flavel, Banner of Truth)

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