Matthew Henry’s “Method For Prayer”

Consider your Evil Sins in Light of your Moral Knowledge and Profession of Faith

Confession 2.15 | NIV

I must aggravate* my sins and take notice of those things which make them more heinous in the sight of God and more dangerous to myself.

I bewail before you all my sins, and all my rebellion in my sins. Leviticus 16:21(NIV)

The more knowledge I have of good and evil, the greater is my sin.

I have known my Master’s will but have not done it, and therefore deserve to be beaten with many blows. Luke 12:47(NIV)

I have known the way of the LORD and the requirements of my God, and yet have broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds. Jeremiah 5:4-5(NIV)

I have known God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, and yet I have not only continued to do them but have approved of those who practice them. Romans 1:32(NIV)

I have taught others, and yet have not taught myself; Romans 2:21(NIV) and while I claim to know God, I have in actions denied him. Titus 1:16(NIV)

The greater profession I have made of religion, the greater has been my sin.

I call myself a citizen of the holy city and rely on the God of Israel and invoke his name, but not in truth or righteousness. Isaiah 48:1-2(NIV) For I have dishonored that worthy name by which I have been called, James 2:23(NIV) and by doing this I have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt. 2 Samuel 12:14(NIV)

I have confessed the name of the Lord, and yet have not turned away from wickedness. 2 Timothy 2:19(NIV)

* The author means that we must look at our sins in the worst light, to see just how evil they are, taking into account the persons we have offended, the nature of the offense, the circumstances of our sin, etc. See The Westminster Larger Catechism, Questions 150 and 151. Editor.

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