Tag Archives | isaac watts

Songs that Reference God’s Judgments

In a recent post, I suggested that we generally shy away from singing songs about God’s judgments, but that judgment is a theme found in many Psalms and Scriptural songs. I promised that I’d follow up with a post that suggested some songs we can sing that reference God’s judgments and help us think about them in a way that honors God, encourages a passion for holiness, and strengthens our confidence in the gospel. So one month later, here we are. (If you didn’t read my previous post, please read it to get the context.) Before listing the songs, it’s important to mention a few things. First, God is the Judge, not us. We’re concerned about …

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Monday Devotions – How Sweet and Aweful

When planning the songs for the Together for the Gospel conference with Mark Dever, he suggested a hymn that I knew about but had never sung. It’s called How Sweet and Awful is the Place, and was written by my historical hero, Isaac Watts. Numerous guys came up to me at the conference and told me how much the words had affected them. Terry Stauffer from Alberta, Canada blogged on it. As I was considering what to post this morning, the words of the hymn kept coming to mind. 1. How sweet and aweful is the place With Christ within the doors, While everlasting love displays The choicest of her stores. 2. While all our hearts and all our songs Join …

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Watts on Prayer #5 – Persuading Us to Pray

I’m in the middle of a writing retreat, working on a book for Crossway Publishers. I mentioned a while back that this book was going to cause me cut back on blogging somewhat. However, I wanted to finish this series today so that I could move on to other things next week. Watts’ final chapter is called “Persuasive Arguments to Learn to Pray.” He begins:“It is to little purpose that the nature of prayer is explained, so many rules framed and directions given to teach persons this divine skill of prayer, if they are not persuaded of the necessity and usefulness of it.” (p. 167) In other words, it’s useless talking about it if we …

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Watts on Prayer #4 – The Spirit of Prayer

Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing summaries of chapters from the book A Guide to Prayer by Isaac Watts. I’ve been using it in my own prayer times, and want to share the benefits. I know I could be addressing many other topics, and will eventually get to them. But if my sense is right, I think that prayer, both public and private, is an area of our relationship with God that we would all love to grow in. In his chapter on The Spirit of Prayer Watts reminds us that all the rules and directions he’s laid out for praying will be ineffective without the aid of God’s Spirit. After providing extensive Scriptural support for the Spirit …

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Watts on Prayer #3 – The Grace of Prayer

I’m continuing my summary of the chapters from Isaac Watts A Guide to Prayer, which is enriching my communication with God. Today, I’m reviewing Chapter 3, The Grace of Prayer. Watts distinguishes the gift and the grace of prayer in this way: “The gift chiefly consists in a readiness of thought appropriate to the various parts of prayer, and a facility of expressing those thoughts in speaking to God. The grace consists in the inward workings of the heart and conscience toward God and religion.” In other words, the grace of prayer refers to the life, affection, sincerity, and vigor that characterize our praying. It stems from an awareness …

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Watts on Prayer #2 – The Gift of Prayer

Yesterday I shared my burden for giving more attention to the way we pray, both publicly and privately. This is an area I very much want to grow in. For that reason I picked up Isaac Watts’ A Guide to Prayer. I’ve been so encouraged by it, I wanted to give you a synopsis of the chapters to motivate you in your own pursuit of a rich prayer life. Today, I’m looking at Chapter 2, The Gift of Prayer. Watts defines the gift of prayer as: “An ability to suit our thoughts to all the various parts and designs of this duty, and a readiness to express those thoughts before God in the fittest manner to profit our own souls as well as the souls …

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Watts on Prayer

While I was in India, I finished reading A Guide to Prayer, by the well known hymn writer, Isaac Watts. I was impressed by his humble, practical, and biblical approach to this topic that is more often discussed than done. I’ve asked Mark Mullery to address the issue of praying publicly at this year’s WorshipGod06 conference. I think we often don’t realize what a significant means of edification, training, and grace public prayer can be for the people we serve. Of course, it might be difficult to imagine when our prayers often sound something like this: Father God, we just come before you today, Lord, to say we love you, Jesus, and Spirit, …

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