Prayer as an Act of Grace

by Frank Jones


The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. (Psalm 6:9)

Prayer to many people is a talisman in order to gain prosperity in this life. Phrases which include, "there is power in prayer," and "prayer changes things," miss the mark of the essence of scriptural praying. The act of praying, in and of itself, does nothing for a person outside of psychological soothing of anxious nerves or a temporal easing of one's conscience. Prayer must proceed out of objective Biblical faith and have its object and content on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, prayer is the fruit of a supernatural work of God in the soul of man. Thomas Boston in the collection of Whole Works challenges us to ponder the source, action, and ability with which prayer is conducted.

Praying is another thing than men generally take it to be. It is not the exercise of a gift, but of grace; not a piece of task laid on men, but a privilege they are advanced to; not a work to be done in our strength, but by help from heaven.
— Thomas Boston. vol. 11, 69

Are our souls drawn out to the risen Lord in prayer by His grace? Do we see prayer as a duty or an activity to be checked off our devotional "to-do" list? Or should prayer be as natural as breathing for a believer? Do we recognize the supreme honor to be able to approach our Creator and be heard? Do we fervently acknowledge the Lord's willingness to answer prayer petitioned in His name for His glory? And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. ... If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 14:13-14; 15:7-8)

If you are like myself, to mention the topic of prayer is to be motivated to confess the areas of prayerlessness in my life. May we truly challenge our souls to be stirred by His grace, enflamed from heaven to assault the Throne of Grace, and be wondrously thankful and joyful for the opportunity to knee in our souls to our great God, the Lord Jesus Christ. May the church of Christ once again advance "on their knees."