To Grow in Grace
John Preston (1587–1528) on the preparation for prayer when one feels unfit for it:
The very doing of the duty is the first preparation to it. For example, of a man were to run a race, if he were to do any bodily exercise, there must be strength of body, he must be fed well, that he may have ability, but the use of the very exercise itself, the very particular act, that is of the same kind with the exercise, is the best to fit him to the inward man, to have much knowledge, to have much grace, makes a man able, and fit for duty; but , if you speak of the immediately preparation for it, I say, the best way to prepare us, is the very duty itself; as all actions, of the same kind, increase the habits, so prayer makes us fit for prayers; and that is a rule, the way to godliness is in the compass of godliness itself, that is, the way to grow in any grace is the exercise of that grace.
–Meet the Puritans (Reformation Heritage Books, 2006), 493.
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