Wisdom's out-doors, even the ordinances, are opened by prayer. Outlawed Gentiles fare the better for that prayer: "Let thy way be known among the people, thy saving health among all the nations." "Pray the Lord of the harvest, that he would thrust out laborers into his harvest." Prayer helps people to a fruitful ministry, prayer helps to open the minister's mouth, opens a door of utterance, Col. 4:3. Pray that God would open my mouth. Prayer opens a door of faith, 1 Cor. 16:8, 9. The "mystery of salvation may be made known" by it, Eph. 6:19. The word may come to have an open and effectual passage into people's hearts by it. Hence that request, "Pray that the word may have a free course and be glorified," etc. The door of liberty, the church's liberties, may be opened to the prayer of the saints, as to Paul, upon his prayer, Acts xi. Those strong and secret doors of death may be opened by prayer. Hence the prophet's raising of the dead child by prayer. So Jonah by prayer had the belly of hell, the whales belly and jaws, opened to him, to let him out. By prayer the doors of the womb are opened, as in Hannah's case, and Rebecca's, and Elizabeth's. By prayer the doors of heaven are opened: "If I shut heaven, and my people pray," etc. "I will hear," etc. By prayer the "prison doors are opened," as to Peter, upon the church's prayer, Acts 12:5, 10. Secrets which otherwise are not to be opened, yet are to be unfolded by prayer, Dan. 2:18, 19. Then was the secret revealed, upon prayer for the mercies of heaven that way. As in other knocking there is a hand, there are fingers which make a noise and help open the door; so here there is a hand of faith which knocks, and that will open that large gate and door of mercy, and any of the lesser wickets depending: "O woman, great is thy faith, be it unto thee even as thou wilt." Come into all my treasures of grace, and take even what thou desirest. Godly desires knock and make a noise in God's ears, and he opens to them: "He heareth the desire of the humble." They will come in where the Lord is: "Lord, all my desire is before thee." The saint's sighs make a noise at heaven's gates, and God comes forth to them: "For the sighing of the prisoners, I will arise, saith the Lord." "Let the sighing of the prisoners come before thee;" room for the sighing of the prisoners, Lord; yea, their very tears too make a loud noise at this door, and they have their voice also in prayer: "Thou hast heard the voice of my weeping." No wonder, then, that effectual prayer consisting of all these, be indeed a knocking, and means of opening of the gate and door of mercy in Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Prayer Opens Doors
Thomas Cobbett, Gospel Incense: Or, A Practical Treatise on Prayer, pp. 12-13: