Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Free-Will Prayer? Never heard one yet!

Now before I lose you, this is not about the choices we make every day. Of course we make choices all throughout the day. What to wear, what to eat, which route to take. We choose to sin, to obey, etc...There is much disagreement on how much of that God is actually involved in, and we know that we are totally responsible for our actions. The whole discussion on Free-Will vs. Sovereignty of God is not my point on this blog at this time. I can refer you to Martin Luther's "The Bondage of the Will", or Jonathan Edward's "The Freedom of the Will" for a much better explanation than I could ever attempt to give.

I'm talking about prayer. How many of you have ever prayed for (or are still praying for) the salvation of a lost loved one such as a child, a parent, a sibling, etc.? How do you pray? Even if you reject some of the "Doctrines of Grace", when it gets down to serious prayer, you pray for Sovereign God to move in a mighty way!

"Lord, I pray that so-and-so will of their own free-will somehow turn to You and will choose You, but don't You force them against their will, Lord, for that would not be fair, and that would make them no more than a "robot". It's a choice they've got to make, being a free-will creature, and they've got to do it on their own, without you exerting Your Sovereignty over them. I know You don't really want anyone to love You if you have to coerce them, Lord, I'm just hoping they will somehow change of their own free-will, abandon their evil desires and evil ways on their own, and begin to love You, desire you, and seek you, although for these many years they have been running from You. I don't know how, but I just pray they will do it."
You ask the Sovereign God of the Universe to show up and do a miracle! You ask Him to call that person to Himself, draw them, change them, and remove the person's heart of stone and give them a new heart! You ask Him to take that person who is dead in their sins and trespasses and quicken, or make them alive in Christ! You ask God to graciously save them! Right? You believe in Sovereign Grace more than you think you do! Think about it! If God doesn't do a work in our wicked heart, we will NEVER choose Him.

As one verse of the old hymn "Breathe on Me, Breath of God" said,
Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
my stubborn will subdue;
teach me in words of living flame
what Christ would have me do.
Here's the whole hymn:
Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
until my heart is clean;
let sunshine fill its inmost part,
with not a cloud between.

Breathe on me, breathe on me
Holy Spirit, breathe on me;
Take Thou my heart, cleanse every part,
Holy Spirit breathe on me.

Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
my stubborn will subdue;
teach me in words of living flame
what Christ would have me do.

Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
fill me with pow'r divine;
kindle a flame of love and zeal
within this heart of mine.

Holy Spirit, breathe on me,
till I am all Thine own,
until my will is lost in Thine,
to live for Thee alone.
Words by Edwin Hatch 1835-1889
As many of you have already figured out, my above blog was inspired by reading C.H. Spurgeon, whom I highly esteem and highly recommend.

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon at the link below"

You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say; but you never heard an Arminian prayer—for the saints in prayer appear as one in word, and deed and mind. An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about free-will: there is no room for it. Fancy him praying,
"Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not—that is the difference between me and them."
That is a prayer for the devil, for nobody else would offer such a prayer as that. Ah! when they are preaching and talking very slowly, there may be wrong doctrine; but when they come to pray, the true thing slips out; they cannot help it. If a man talks very slowly, he may speak in a fine manner; but when he comes to talk fast, the old brogue of his country, where he was born, slips out. I ask you again, did you ever meet a Christian man who said, "I came to Christ without the power of the Spirit?" If you ever did meet such a man, you need have no hesitation in saying, "My dear sir, I quite believe it—and I believe you went away again without the power of the Spirit, and that you know nothing about the matter, and are in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity." Do I hear one Christian man saying, "I sought Jesus before he sought me; I went to the Spirit, and the Spirit did not come to me"? No, beloved; we are obliged, each one of us, to put our hands to our hearts and say—

"Grace taught my soul to pray,
And made my eyes to o'erflow;
'Twas grace that kept me to this day,
And will not let me go."

Is there one here—a solitary one—man or woman, young or old, who can say, "I sought God before he sought me?" No; even you who are a little Arminian, will sing—

"O yes! I do love Jesus—
Because he first loved me."

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