Method for Prayer by Matthew Henry
1 Introduction and Acknowledgement of the Need for Lowliness before God
Of the Second Part of Prayer, which is Confession of Sin, Complaints Regarding Ourselves, and Humble Professions of Repentance
Having ascribed glory to God, which is his due, Psalm 29:2(ESV) we must next take shame to ourselves, which is our due, and humble ourselves before him in the sense of our own sinfulness and vileness; and herein also we must give glory to him, Joshua 7:19(ESV) as our Judge, by whom we deserve to be condemned, and yet hope, through Christ, to be acquitted and absolved.
In this part of our work,
We must acknowledge the great reason we have to lie very low before God and to be ashamed of ourselves when we come into his presence and to be afraid of his wrath, having made ourselves both odious to his holiness and obnoxious to his justice.
O our God, we are ashamed and blush to lift our faces to you, our God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our head, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. Ezra 9:6(ESV)
To us belongs open shame, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:8(ESV)
Behold we are of small account, what shall we answer you? We lay our hand on our mouth, Job 40:4(ESV) and put our mouth in the dust, for there may yet be hope, Lamentations 3:29(ESV) crying with the convicted leper under the law, “Unclean, unclean.” Leviticus 13:45(ESV)
You put no trust in your holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in your sight; how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, man who drinks injustice like water! Job 15:15-16(ESV)
When our eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts, we have reason to cry out, “Woe to us, for we are lost!” Isaiah 6:5(ESV)
Dominion and fear are with you; you make peace in your high heaven: Is there any number to your armies? Upon whom does your light not arise? How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? Job 25:2-4(ESV)
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused? Psalm 76:7(ESV) You, our God, are a consuming fire; Hebrews 12:29(ESV) and who considers the power of your anger? Psalm 90:11(ESV)
If we claimed to be in the right, our own mouth would condemn us; if we said, “We are blameless,” you would prove us perverse; Job 9:20(ESV) for if you contend with us, we could not answer you once in a thousand times. Job 9:3(ESV)
If we were not aware of anything against ourselves, yet we are not thereby acquitted, for he who judges us is the Lord, 1 Corinthians 4:4(ESV) who is greater than our hearts and knows everything. 1 John 3:20(ESV) But we ourselves know that we have sinned, Father, against heaven and before you, and are no longer worthy to be called your children. Luke 15:21(ESV)