Method for Prayer by Matthew Henry
Another after the receiving of the Lord’s Supper.
O Lord, my God and my Father in Jesus Christ, I can never sufficiently admire the condescension of thy grace to me. What is man that thou dost thus magnify him, and the son of man that thou thus visitest him? Who am I? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto; hast brought me into the banqueting-house, and thy banner over me hath been love? I have reason to say, That a day in thy courts, an hour at thy table, is better, far better, than a thousand days, than ten thousand hours elsewhere; it is good for me to draw near to God. Blessed be God for the privileges of his house and those comforts with which he makes his people joyful in his house of prayer.
But I have reason to blush and be ashamed of myself that I have not been more affected with the great things which have been set before me and offered to me at the Lord’s table. O what a vain, foolish, and trifling heart have I! When I would do good, even evil is present with me. Good Lord, be merciful to me, and pardon the iniquity of my holy things, and let not my many defects in my attendance upon thee be laid to my charge or hinder my profiting by the ordinance.
I have now been commemorating the death of Christ; Lord, grant that by the power of that, sin may be crucified in me, the world crucified to me, and I to the world; and enable me so to bear about with me continually the dying of the Lord Jesus, as that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in my mortal body.
I have now been receiving the precious benefits which flow from Christ’s death; Lord, grant that I may never lose, may never forfeit, those benefits, but, as I have received Christ Jesus the Lord, give me grace so to walk in him, and to live as one that am not my own, but am bought with a price, glorifying God with my body and spirit, which are his.
I have now been renewing my covenant with thee and engaging myself afresh to thee to be thine; now, Lord, give me grace to perform my vow. Keep it always in the imagination of the thought of my heart, and establish my way before thee. Lord, preserve me by thy grace, that I may never return again to folly, after God hath spoken peace; may I never by my loose and careless walking, undo what I have been doing today; but having my heart enlarged with the consolation of God, give me to run the way of thy commandments with cheerfulness and constancy, and still to hold fast my integrity.
This precious soul of mine, which is the work of thine own hands and the purchase of thy Son’s blood, I commit into thy hands, to be sanctified by thy Spirit and grace, and wrought up into conformity to thy holy will in every thing: Lord, set up thy throne in my heart, write thy law there, shed abroad thy love there, and bring every thought within me into obedience to thee, to the commanding power of thy law and the constraining power of thy love. Keep through thine own name that which I commit unto thee, keep it against that day, when it shall be called for; let me be preserved blameless to the coming of thy glory, that I may then be presented faultless with exceeding joy.
All my outward affairs I submit to the disposal of thy wise and gracious providence. Lord, save my soul, and then, as to other things, do as thou pleasest with me; only make all providences work together for my spiritual and eternal advantage. Let all things be pure to me, and give me to taste covenant love in common mercies, and by thy grace let me be taught both how to want and how to abound, how to enjoy prosperity, and how to bear adversity, as becomes a Christian; and at all times let thy grace be sufficient for me and mighty in me, to work in me both to will and to do that which is good of thine own good pleasure.
And that in every thing I may do my duty and stand complete in it, let my heart be enlarged in love to Jesus Christ, and affected with the height and depth, the length and breadth, of that love of his to me, which passeth all conception and expression.
And as an evidence of that love, let my mouth be filled with his praises. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive blessing and honour and glory and power; for he was slain, and hath redeemed a chosen remnant unto God by his blood, and made them to him kings and priests. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless his holy name, who forgiveth all mine iniquities and healeth all my diseases; who redeemeth my life from destruction and crowneth me with loving-kindness and tender mercy; who having begun a good work, will perform it unto the day of Christ. As long as I live I will bless the Lord; I will praise my God while I have any being; and when I have no being on earth, I hope to have a being in heaven to be doing it better. O let me be borne up in everlasting arms and carried from strength to strength, till I appear before God in Zion, for Jesus’ sake, who died for me and rose again, in whom I desire to be found living and dying. Now to God the Father, Son, and Spirit be ascribed kingdom, power, and glory, henceforth and for ever. Amen.