Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thought for the Lord's Day - #60

For how in general doth the Holy Spirit teach us and enable us to pray? It is by these three things.

(1.) By giving us a spiritual insight into the promises of God and the grace of the covenant, whereby we know what to ask upon a spiritual view of the mercy and grace that God hath prepared for us.

(2.) By acquainting us with and giving us an experience of our wants, with a deep sense of them, such as we cannot bear without relief.

(3.) By creating and stirring up desires in the new creature, for his own preservation, increase and improvement.

And in answer unto these things, consisteth his whole work of sanctification in us. For it is his effectual communication unto us, of the grace and mercy prepared in the promises of the covenant through Jesus Christ; hereby doth he supply our spiritual want, and sets the new creature in life and vigour. So are our prayers an extract and copy of the work of the Holy Spirit in us, given us by himself.

And, therefore, by whomseover he is despised as a Spirit of supplication, he is so as a Spirit of sanctification also.

Now consider what it is that in your prayers you most labour about? Is it not that the body, the power, the whole interest, of sin in you may be weakened, subdued, and at length destroyed? Is it not that all the graces of the Spirit may be renewed daily, increased and strengthened, so as that you may be more ready and prepared for all duties of obedience? And what is all this but that holiness may be gradually progressive in your souls, that it may be carried on by new supplies and additions of grace, until it come to perfection?
- John Owen
Or, A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit,
Wherein an Account is Given of His Name, Nature,
Personality, Dispensation, Operations, and Effects;
His Whole Work in the Old and New Creation is
Explained; and the Doctrine Concerning it Vindicated

(I added the paragraph breaks for clarity)