Bunyan on the Word and the Spirit in Prayer

Dr. Donald Whitney was the first to teach me about the sweet union that should exist between our Scripture meditation and our prayers. So often when I feel I have exhausted my resources in prayer as far as what to pray for, how to say, what my attitude should be, it is because I have not let the words of Scripture be the kindling for the flames of my prayers. As I preach this to my own soul, I hope to carry my people along with me. Whitney stands squarely in the Puritan tradition in this point of course. Listen to John Bunyan describe the activity of the Word and Spirit together in prayer:

And indeed the Holy Ghost doth not immediately quicken and stir up the heart of the Christian without, but by, with, and through the Word, by bringing that to the heart, and by opening of that, whereby the man is provoked to go to the Lord, and to tell him how it is with him, and also to argue, and supplicate, according to the Word. (“On Praying in the Spirit,” Works of John Bunyan, I: 628)

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About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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