Friday, May 4, 2007

Boyce on Prayer

This post comes one day removed from the National Day of Prayer. Oh well, hope you pray more than just one day out of the year anyway.

James P. Boyce, founding President of Southern Seminary, was a theological giant of his day (d. 1888). A pretty good biographical sketch is found here. We have very little of his original work available to us. However there is a small collections of his sermons entitled, James Petigru Boyce: Selected Writings edited by Timothy George. This little book contains the sermon, "The Place and Power of Prayer" which is based on I John 5:14-15. It is a very good sermon that clearly outlines the meaning and application of the text. However, Boyce also takes a pretty hard shot at the skeptics. In his day, as well as ours, there were many that scoff at the idea of prayer.

For those of us who have experienced God's transforming grace we herald the joy, the privilege, the duty and the power of prayer. However, this message is lost on those who are, well, "lost." Even though there are skeptics, we continue to boldly enter before the throne of grace into the very presence of Almighty God. What follows is a brief excerpt from Boyce's sermon as he seeks to address the weakness of the skeptic's argument.

"To say the least of it, this denial of the power of prayer is very unphilosophical on the part of these skeptics, for they are objecting to the reality of facts in a mode of existence of which they have had no experience and of which they are profoundly ignorant." pg. 89

" and humble submission to the will of God are invariable prerequisites to successful prayer. If they would have a like experience of the power of prayer, they have to come with these accompaniments and put God to the test." pg. 90

What power, what a privilege. Pray on!

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