Matthew Henry’s “Method For Prayer”

Lament your Disposition to Evil and Confess your Blind Understanding and Stubborn Will

Confession 2.3 | ESV

We must lament our present corrupt dispositions to that which is evil, and our aversion to and impotency in that which is good. We must look into our own hearts and confess with holy blushing:

The blindness of our understandings and their unaptness to admit the rays of the divine light.

By nature my understanding is darkened, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in me, due to the hardness of my heart. Ephesians 4:18(ESV)

The things of the Spirit of God are folly to the natural person; neither can I understand them, in and of myself, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14(ESV)

I am ‘wise’ – in doing evil! But how to do good I know not. Jeremiah 4:22(ESV) I have neither knowledge nor understanding, I walk about in darkness. Psalm 82:5(ESV)

God speaks in one way, and in two, though I do not perceive it; Job 33:14(ESV) I indeed hear but never understand; Matthew 13:14(ESV) and I see men, but they look like trees, walking. Mark 8:24(ESV)

The stubbornness of our wills and their unaptness to submit to the rules of the divine law.

I have within me a mind that is set on the flesh, which is hostile to God and does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Romans 8:7(ESV)

Were you to write for me your laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded by me as a strange thing; Hosea 8:12(ESV) and my corrupt heart has been sometimes ready to say, “What is the Almighty, that I should serve him?” Job 21:15(ESV) And, “I will do everything that I have vowed.” Jeremiah 44:17(ESV) For I have walked in the ways of my own heart and in the sight of my eyes, Ecclesiastes 11:9(ESV) carrying out the desires of the flesh and the mind. Ephesians 2:3(ESV)

My neck has been an iron sinew, Isaiah 48:4(ESV) and I have made my heart diamond-hard; I have refused to pay attention, have turned a stubborn shoulder, Zechariah 7:11-12(ESV) and stopped my ears like the deaf adder that will not hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter. Psalm 58:4-5(ESV)

How I have hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. Proverbs 5:12-13(ESV)

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