The privilege of prayer

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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Hugh Binning (Practical Sermons), Works, p. 653:

Prayer is not so much a duty as a privilege; and if saints knew this, prayer would not so often be a burden unto them. Is there any privilege like this? For prayer is an admission into the secrets of God, it is an emptying of the heart into his bosom. It is a great part of our correspondence with heaven. It is a swift messenger sent thither, that never comes back with ill news. It never returns empty, but accomplishes its intent. Prayer is as it were speaking with God face to face, as a man speaks to his friend; and is it not an honourable privilege, that believers are admitted to him, and may boldly come to him under all their necessities, and have such a sympathizing friend as Jesus? What is wonderful in scripture is, that God hath put that honour upon prayer to be instrumental in obtaining the greatest blessings. Did not the Lord, at the prayer of Moses, dry up the Red sea? Did he not, at the prayer of Elias, withhold and give rain? Did not the prayer of Joshua make the sun to stand still, till he had vanquished his enemies? Wherefore was all this? Could he not have done it unasked? Certainly, but the Lord would put that honour and respect upon prayer in all ages, that it might be a demonstration to all ages and generations, how ready and propense [disposed] God was to hear prayer.
 
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