Lord, the expectation of our salvation,
receive the prayers of them that call upon Thee:
Thou that art the discoverer of hidden things,
give ear to the hidden cry of the heart;
that those things which we tremble to have committed and blush to confess,
Thou, our King,
mayest forgive of Thy clemency, and blot out of Thy goodness;
so that our supplication may arise to Thee in the morning,
and the good gifts of Thy mercy may descend on us right early
without any other termination: Through Thy mercy,
O our God, Who art blessed,
and livest and governest all things, to ages of ages.
Verse 1.—“Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.” It is certain that the greater part of men, as they babble out vain, languid, and inefficacious prayers, most unworthy the ear of the blessed God, so they seem in some degree to set a just estimate upon them, neither hoping for any success from them, nor indeed seeming to be at all solicitous about it, but committing them to the mind as vain words, which in truth they are. But far be it from a wise and pious man, that he should so foolishly and coldly trifle in so serious an affair; his prayer has a certain tendency and scope, at which he aims with assiduous and repeated desires, and doth not only pray that he may pray, but that he may obtain an answer; and as he firmly believes that it may be obtained, so he firmly, and constantly, and eagerly urges his petition, that he may not flatter himself with an empty hope. Robert Leighton, D.D.
C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 1-26, vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 49.
2 Corinthians 5:16–21, Atonement, Curse, Ephesians 2:13–18, Galatians 3:10–14, George Herbert, Hebrews 4:14–16, Isaiah 40:11, James 4:1-4, John 14:13–14, John 3:18, law, Love of God, Matthew 7:7–11, Mosaic Law, Moses, poem, Poetry, Prayer, Psalm 104:27–30, Psalm 121:1–2, Psalm 5, Psalm 5:1–2, Psalm 5:3, Psalm 90:3, reconciliation, Romans 5:1-2., Romans 5:6–11, Romans 6:1–4, Romans 7:4–6, Romans 8:1–4
This poem on prayer by George Herbert builds its case upon a dense theological argument and biblical allusion. Without rightly understanding the theological and biblical case being made by Herbert, one will misunderstand Herbert’s praise. Herbert’s access to God in prayer comes directly through the incarnation and atonement of Christ.
¶ Prayer. (II)
OF what an easie quick accesse,
My blessed Lord, art thou! how suddenly
May our requests thine eare invade!
To shew that state dislikes not easinesse,
If I but lift mine eyes, my suit is made:
Thou canst no more not heare, then thou canst die.
Of what supreme almightie power
Is thy great arm, which spans the east and west,
And tacks the centre to the sphere!
By it do all things live their measur’d houre:
We cannot ask the thing, which is not there,
Blaming the shallownesse of our request.
Of what unmeasurable love
Art thou possest, who, when thou couldst not die,
And for our sakes in person sinne reprove,
That by destroying that which ty’d thy purse,
Thou mightst make way for liberalitie!
Since then these three wait on thy throne,
Ease, Power, and Love; I value prayer so,
That were I to leave all but one,
Wealth, fame, endowments, vertues, all should go;
I and deare prayer would together dwell,
And quickly gain, for each inch lost, an ell.
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