Prayer from the heart
‘And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!’ Genesis 17:18
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Genesis 17:1–22
The Lord was now confirming his covenant to Abraham and assuring him of the promised son, in whom he should be a father of many nations. But he had another son, and embraces the occasion of speaking for him likewise.
Observe from the occasion: faith takes encouragement, when much is given or promised, to ask the more. So he gains upon the Lord, as it were, in the next chapter, every time he speaks. We are not straitened in the Lord; were we not in ourselves, we should see great things. What lies near the heart will be spread before the Lord in prayer in an hour of liberty. It is our duty to pray—and too often believers have little else to prompt them to it. Their spirits are dry, and they deal mostly in generals, but there are favoured seasons when the soul comes near to the Lord and then can open all its particular desires. These are golden hours; one such is preferable to a thousand. The sun in its course beholds nothing more honourable than this: a worm of dust holding conference with the great God.
And dost thou say, ‘Ask what thou wilt’?
More of thy presence, LORD, impart,
LORD, I would seize the golden hour;
More of thine image let me bear;
I pray to be released from guilt,
Erect thy throne within my heart,
And freed from sin and Satan’s power.
And reign without a rival there.
FOR MEDITATION: He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Go then with this promise to the throne of grace—pray first to know your own state and wants and to have your desires moulded by his Word and will, and then be careful about nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication make your request known unto God. And you shall not pray in vain. He that spared not his own Son will freely give you every thing else—grace, peace, wisdom, provision and protection.
Sermon on Romans 8:32, The Searcher of Hearts
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 36 [1/1], GENESIS 17:18