Edward Reynolds on Prayer [Hosea 14:1-3]

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Tempus faciendi, Domine.
I've placed this in the Spiritual Warfare forum, as I think it fits well here, though it could have gone to the Quotes forum just as easily. I had not read any of Reynolds before, but this afternoon found his contribution in completing the Commentary on Hosea by Jeremiah Burroughs. Burroughs died before he could finish his work on that book, and works by Thomas Hall, on chapter 13, and Edward Reynolds, on chapter 14, were utilized to complete the Commentary.

I found this section particularly helpful and encouraging.

From Reynolds sermon on Hosea 14:1-3, as found in Jeremiah Burroughs' Commentary on Hosea (SDG, 1989): 617-618.

The services which we thus prepare must be taken from him; they must not be the issues of our own private and fleshly hearts; for nothing can go to God, but that which comes from him. And this phrase seems to import these three things: 1. We must attend to his will, as the rule of our prayers, 1 John v. 14.
2. We must attend to his precepts and promises, as the matter of our prayers, 2 Sam. vii. 25.
3. We must attend to the guidance of his Holy Spirit, as the life and principle of our prayers, without which we know not what to ask, Rom. viii. 26; Zech. ii. 10; Job xxxvii. 19.
. . .
Oh let the Lord's remembrancers give him no rest. There is a kind of omnipotency in prayer, as having an interest and prevalence with God's omnipotency; it has loosed iron chains, Acts xvi. 25, 26; it has opened iron gates, Acts xii. 5, 10; it has unlocked the windows of heaven, I Kings xviii. 41; it has broken the bars of death, John xi. 41-44. Satan has three titles given him in the Scripture, setting forth his malignity against the church of God. A dragon, to denote his malice, Rev. xii. 3; a serpent, to denote his subtlety, Gen. iii. 1; and a lion, to denote his strength, 1 Pet. v. 8. But none of all these can stand before prayer. The greatest malice, the malice of Haman, sinks under the prayer of Esther; the deepest policy, the counsel of Ahithophel, withers before the prayer of David; the hugest army, an host of a thousand thousand Ethipians, run away like cowards before the prayer of Asa, Esth. iv. 16; 2 Sam. xv. 31; 2 Chron. xiv. 9-12.

How should this encourage us to treasure up our prayers! to besiege the throne of grace with armies of supplications! to deny a denial! to break through a repulse! He has blessed those whom he had crippled, Gen. xxxii. 25-28; he has answered those whom he did reproach, Matt. xv. 26, 28; he has delivered those whom he did deny, Judg. x. 13-16. He is "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever," Heb. xiii. 8. If he save in six and in seven troubles, should not we pray in six and seven extremities? Job v. 19. Certainly, in all the afflictions of the church, when prayers are strongest, mercies are nearest.
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