O you who hears prayer, to you shall all flesh come.
Doctrine – It is the character of the Most High, that he is a God who answers prayer.
Four headings drive the sermon.
1. The Most High is a God that Hears Prayer
Though he is infinitely above all, and stands in no need of creatures; yet he is graciously pleased to take a merciful notice of poor worms in the dust.
Edwards argues that God not only accepts the supplications of all the saints; he does so willingly with favor. He adds, “While they are praying, he gives them sweet views of his glorious grace, purity, sufficiency, and sovereignty; and enables them, with great quietness, to rest in him, to leave themselves and their prayers with him, submitting to his will, and trusting in his grace and faithfulness.”
2. He is Eminently Such a God
Edwards provides several examples of how God answers prayer:
- In his giving such free access to him by prayer.
- That God is eminently of this character, appears in his hearing prayer so readily.
- That the Most High is eminently one that hears prayer, appears by his giving so liberally in answer to prayer.
- That God is eminently of this character, appears by the greatness of the things which he hath often done in answer to prayer.
- This truth appears, in that God is, as it were, overcome by prayer.
3. Reasons for the Doctrine
A crucial point that Edwards makes is that God answers prayer because “he is a God of infinite grace and mercy.”
- He hath by his blood made atonement for sin; so that our guilt need not stand in the way, as a separating wall between God and us, and that our sins might not be a cloud through which our prayers cannot pass.
- Christ, by his obedience, has purchased this privilege, viz, that the prayers of those who believe in him should be heard.
- Christ enforces the prayers of his people, by his intercession at the right hand of God in heaven.
Edwards draws out many practical applications, the chief of which alerts the saints to make good use of prayer; to be prayer warriors in this wicked age.
“Seeing we have such a prayer-hearing God as we have heard, let us be much employed in the duty of prayer: let us pray with all prayer and supplication: let us live prayerful lives, continuing instant in prayer, watching thereuto with all perseverance; praying always, without ceasing, earnestly, and not fainting.”