Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Golden Key of Prayer

We ought not to tolerate for a minute the ghastly and grievous thought that God will not answer prayer. His nature, as manifested in Christ Jesus, demands it. He has revealed himself in the gospel as a God of love, full of grace and truth; and how can he refuse to help those of his creatures who humbly in his own appointed way seek his face and favor? When the Athenian senate, upon one occasion, found it most convenient to meet together in the open air, as they were sitting in their deliberations, a sparrow, pursued by a hawk, flew in the direction of the senate. Being hard pressed by the bird of prey, it sought shelter in the bosom of one of the senators. He, being a man of rough and vulgar mold, took the bird from his bosom, dashed it on the ground and so killed it. Whereupon the whole senate rose in uproar, and without one single dissenting voice, condemned him to die, as being unworthy of a seat in the senate with them, or to be called an Athenian, if he did not render succor to a creature that confided in him.

Can we suppose that the God of heaven, whose nature is love, could tear out of his bosom the poor fluttering dove that flies from the eagle of justice into the bosom of his mercy? Will he give the invitation to us to seek his face, and when we as he knows, with so much trepidation of fear, yet summon courage enough to fly into his bosom, wilt he then be unjust and ungracious enough to forget to hear our cry and to answer us?

Let us not think so hardly of the God of heaven.

From a sermon entitled "The Golden Key Of Prayer," delivered March 12, 1865. Image by Audrey under Creative Commons License.

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