Friday, May 27, 2016

After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  Matthew 6:9-13

    1.  All that we desire and pray for, in behalf of ourselves and others, must be subordinate to this end.  All these things must be asked, that by the accomplishment of them God may be brought more in request in the world.  See all the other petitions in this prayer, how they are suited to this end in scripture.  When we say, “Thy kingdom come,” what do we beg that for, but ultimately the glory of God? Phil. 2:10-11, “God hath given him a name which is above every name, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  When we say, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” it is still to the glory of God:  Mat. 5:16, “That our good works may still shine forth before men here upon earth, that they may glorify our Father which is in heaven.”  When we ask our daily bread, and provisions for the present life, it is still that he may be glorified in our comfortable use of the creature:  1 Cor. 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  When we ask for the remission of sins, it is that God may be glorified in Christ:  Rom. 3:25-26, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, that he may be just,” etc.  When we beg freedom from temptation, it is that we may not dishonor God:  Prov. 30:9, “Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”  Still that God may be glorified in every condition.  When we ask deliverance from evil:  Ps. 1:15, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”  So that the glory of God, in all requests that we make to him, like oil, still swims on the top, and must be the end of all the rest; for other things are but means in subordination to it.
     2.  It notes that our chiefest care and affection should be carried out to the glory of God when we pray.  We should rather forget our-selves than forget God.  God must be remembered in the first place.  There is nothing more precious than God himself, therefore nothing should be more dear to us than his glory.  This is the great difference between the upright and the hypocrite:  the hypocrite never seeks God but when his necessities do require it, not in and for himself; but when the upright come to seek God, it is for God in the first place—their main care is about God's concernments rather than their own.  Though they seek their own happiness in him, and they are allowed so to do; yet it is mainly God’s glory which they seek, not their own interests and concernments.  See that:  Ps. 115:1, “Not unto us, not unto us, Lord, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”  This is not a doxology, or form of thanksgiving, but a prayer.  Not for our safety or welfare, so much as for thy glory, be pleased to deliver us.  Not to satisfy our revenge upon our adversaries; not for the establishment of our own interest; but for the glory of thy grace and truth do we seek thine aid, that thou mayest be known to be a God keeping covenant; for mercy and truth are the two pillars of that covenant.  It is a great dishonoring of God when anything is sought from him more than himself, or not for himself.  Saith Austin, it is but a carnal affection in prayer when men seek self more than God.  Self and God are the two things that come in competition.  Now there are several sorts of self; there is carnal self, natural self, and glorified self  above all these God must have the pre-eminence.....
                                                                    Thomas Manton

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