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Jonathan Edwards, from a May 1738 sermon, “The Terms of Prayer”:

Theologian Jonathan Edwards

Theologian Jonathan Edwards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Men’s desires are naturally very large. ‘Tis no small matter will satisfy the desires of the soul of man: ’tis not all the enjoyments of a fininte world will do it. A man must have something of a larger extent than heaven or earth in order to it. And godly men’s desires of happiness are no less large than others. Godliness regulates men’s desires of happiness, and directs them to right objects; but it don’t diminish and confine them, or reduce them to straiter limits.

God’s people’s desires of happiness are exceeding extensive; but as extensive as they are, there is great encouragement in this doctrine to go to God with them. They may expose as large desires as they will, God is ready to hear them. God stands ready to give ’em their hearts’ desire. . . . Let ’em open their mouth in their desires and prayers as wide as they will, God stands ready to fill them; yea, he would have them open their mouths wide. Ps. 81:10, “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

The Terms of Prayer,” in Works of Jonathan Edwards 19:783-84.

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