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POOR MAN'S PRAYER BOOK,
GOD'S SCRIPTURE BOOK ;
IN WHICH IS PROVED
THAT ALL TRUE, SPIRITUAL AND PERSONAL COMMUNION WITH
GOD IS THE SOLE RESULT OF THE GIFT OF GOD;
NOT IN THE WORDS WHICH MAN'S WISDOM TEACHETH, BUT
WHICH THE HOLY GHOST TEACHETH.
TO THE CHURCH OF GOD;
AND INTENDED AS A SUPPLEMENT TO A LITTLE WORK SOMETIME SINCE
SENT FORTH AMONG THE LORD'S PEOPLE, INTITLED,
THE POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTION.
The following pages are designed, as a general answer to enquiries, from the persons of the Lord's people, lamenting the want of forms of prayer, for the use of private and family worship, and more especially, for the little ones of the Lord's household.
It is among the sweetest promises of the old testament, and confirmed by the Son of God himself in the new; all the children shall be taught of the Lord.” Isa. liv. 13. John vi. 45. Hence therefore, the Lord having undertaken for their education; their province is, simply to wait on the Lord; and “ lean not upon their own understanding." For thus the precept runs. "In all thy ways acknowledge him; and he shall direct thy paths.” Prov. iii. 5, 6. And the Holy Ghost continuing the same divine teaching, under the new testament dispensation, as in the old, and using the same beautiful similitude, thus speaks to the church by his servant the apostle Peter; “ As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be, ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious; to whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious; ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." 1 Pet. ii. 25.
This leading truth of our holy faith, I have endeavoured to set forth in this little work; hoping, that under divine impressions, the regenerated people of God, may be taught of God, how to pray, and what to pray for, and to be most fully convinced, that they can say nothing that is truly spiritual unto the Lord, in a way of prayer; until the Lord in his Trinity of Persons, hath first manifested himself unto them in a way of grace.
I send it forth therefore unto the church of God, with the same affection, as I have my former little publications, under the humble but pleasing hope, that the Lord's blessing may go before it, and follow it, in all places of his people, whither it shall come. And if a gracious God, will mercifully own and bless in it what is his own, and as mercifully pardon what is mine; so that his redeemed, (and especially his little ones) may, through his leadings “ go in and out,” in the sacred inclosure of his word," and find pasture;" John x. 9. unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages world without end. Amen.
Plymouth, Charles Vicarage,
April 30th, 1820.
POOR MAN'S PRAYER BOOK.
INTRODUCTORY AND EXPLANATORY.
THERE is no part in the life of grace, and until the renewed child of God is brought into an holy acquaintance and familiarity with God in his Trinity of Persons, in which he finds himself so much at a loss, and of which he more frequently complains, than of that which concerns prayer.
Often do we hear him say, that he knoweth not how to pray, neither what to pray for. And although in the very scripture where he finds the same complaints lodged by the church, he might have observed also, it is said, that “the Spirit helpeth us in our infirmities;" Rom. viii. 26. yet forgetting the use to be made, both of our helplessness, and of the Lord's all-sufficiency; and that in fact the very inability of man affords occasion for the manifestation of the power of God, whose " strength is made perfect in our weakness;” 2 Cor. xii. 9. he is everlastingly leaning upon an arm of flesh, and willing rather to go to the mercy-seat upon any crutches of human construction, than the being led there simply under the influences of that gracious “ Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father!” Rom. viii. 15.