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THE WELSH CALYINISTIC METHODIST RECORD. NOVEMBER, 1853. PRAYER AND THE DIVINE PURPOSES. " My counsel shall stand."—" Thy will be done." The important truth is plainly taught in the Scriptures that there is a con¬ nexion between the prayers of good men and the divine purposes. That connexion corresponds with.the respective characters and positions of him who hears prayer and those who offer it. The hearer of prayer is a being of perfect and self-sufficient wisdom, as well as perfect and underived holiness. " His understanding is infinite." " O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous!" In forming his own determinations, the All-wise needs no instruction from an¬ other as to what is best to be done; the All-holy requires no bias from another to induce him to resolve upon the doing of it. " Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him V" The resolves of such a being having been formed, they are necessarily irreversible: "every pur¬ pose of the Lord it shall stand." He cannot find a reason for cancelling or modifying them in himself: " With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." He is also above compulsion by any external power: " The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back!" How wide the difference between the character thus delineated in outline, and the dependent, imperfect, sin¬ ful men who address him in prayer! How becoming to them the language of Elihu: " we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness." The lowly position to be taken by man in prayer is in keeping with the immeasurable distance, natural and moral, between him and God. Nothing can be more remote from the true spirit of prayer than the tone of an adviser. We must go to the throne of grace, not to teach wisdom, but to ask it; not to communicate impulses to benevolence to him who is Love, but to awaken and sustain them in ourselves by communion with him. On account of our 2 G