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When Prayer Is Sin

Years ago, I recorded my objection to the “unspoken” prayer request, but I neglected one very important reason I won’t pray for your unspoken request. As David Clarkson writes,


The thing asked for must be an object of faith; such things as you may upon good grounds believe that God will grant. There must be a belief, a persuasion, that the things desired are lawful according to his will: 1 John v. 14, ‘And this is the assurance that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’ No assurance he will hear, without assurance that what we ask is according to his will; now that is according to his will for which we have command or promise . . . If there be no persuasion, or none upon these grounds, the prayer is not of faith, and so it is sin; for whatever is not of faith is sin, and sin can expect no comfortable return from God. He that cannot behold it will not hear it, or hear it so as to reward it but with punishment. A fervent prayer for a thing unlawful is a crying sin.

—David Clarkson, Faith in Prayer, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:198.

In short, if your request is kept secret, how can I know if it’s biblical? I really do need to know.

Posted 2017·09·18 by David Kjos
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Posted in: David Clarkson · Prayer · Works of David Clarkson

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