“If, then, I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear?” Malachi 1:6
We are to pray with a childlike reverence and affection in prayer. If we expect the supplies of children, we must perform the duties of children. God will be owned as a father not with a fellow-like familiarity, but with humility and with an awe of His majesty. We must also pray with love to God. Now, our love to God is mainly seen by our subjection and obedience to His laws. Thus Christ would have us take up God in prayer under such a relation, that we might mind our duty to Him: “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1 Pet. 1:17). We never pray aright but when we pray resolving to cast off all sin. How can we call God Father, whom we care not to please day-by-day? So the Lord treats His people: “Thou hast said, Thou art my father. Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest” (Jer. 3:5, 6). God takes it to be a contumely and reproach to Himself when we do evil, yet come and call Him Father. He takes it ill that men should come and flatter Him with lying lips, and do not walk as children in holy obedience. Therefore, it is an engagement to serve God with holiness.
About Thomas Manton:
Thomas Manton (1620-1677) was a nonconformist minister who was educated at Oxford. He was ordained by Bishop Joseph Hall and later joined the Presbyterian cause. He was a proponent of a rigorous evangelical Calvinism and was renowned for preaching long expository sermons on both James and Jude. More than once he preached before the House of Commons during the English Civil War. He preached the funeral sermon of Christopher Love, who was executed for treason in the summer of 1651, and was involved throughout the rest of his career reconciling the Presbyterians with the Congregationalists. His most famous posts were as a lecturer at Westminster Abbey and later as rector of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden. His published works were well regarded by his contemporaries, and Archbishop James Ussher described him as a “voluminous preacher.” His Complete Works were collected and published in twenty-two volumes in the nineteenth century. The selection above is taken from his A Practical Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer (1684).
*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).
Where to Buy:
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