Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mr. Baxter on prayer

I was in a violin shop yesterday reminiscing with the owner of our mutual friendship with Mr. Kelly at the exact time that my grandmother passed on to the here after. Facing death once again has brought thoughts about mortality, salvation, faith amongst others to mind. And so, I spent today with my friend Baxter and he explained many things to me.

One of which is how we may know when our prayers are answered and when not.

Two ways: sometimes by experience, when the thing itself is actually given us; and always by the promise; when we ask for that which God commandeth us to ask, or promiseth to grant, for we are sure God's promises are all fulfilled. If we ask for the objects of sense (as food or raiment, or health, &c.) sense will tell us whether our prayers be granted in the same kind that we asked for; it is faith that must tell you that your prayers are granted; but yet faith and reason make use of evidence or signs. As if I pray for pardon of sin, and salvation, the promise assureth me, that this prayer is granted, if I be a penitent, believeing, regenerate person, otherwise not; therefore faith only assureth me that such prayers are granted, supposing that I discern that evidence of my regeneration, repentance, and faith in Christ. So if the question be whether my prayer for others, or for temporal mercies, be answered in some kind, and conduce to my good some other way, faith only must tell you this from the promise, by the help of evidences. There are millions of prayers that will be found answered at death and judgement, which we knew not to be answered any way but by believing.

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