The returne of prayers A treatise wherein this case how to discerne Gods answers to our prayers is briefly resolved, with other observations vpon Psal. 85.8. concerning Gods speaking peace, &c. By Tho: Goodvvin. B.D.
Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.
Page  [unnumbered]

THE TABLE.

  • CHAP. 1. The maine observation: That Gods people are diligently to observe the answers of their prayers. Pag. 5.
    • The sinfulnes of the neglect hereof demon∣strated by seven reasons. 7
      • 1▪ reas. An ordinance of God taken in vain ibid.
      • 2. reas. Gods attributes taken in vain. 12
      • 3. reas. God in answering made to speake in vaine 16
      • 4. reas. God provoked not to answer. 19
      • 5. reas. We shall not returne thanks. 21
      • 6. reas. We shall lose much experience. 23
        • 1. Of Gods faithfulnesse ibid
        • 2. Of our own wayes towards him. 25
      • 7. reas. We shall lose much comfort. 28
  • CHAP. 2. Three Cases: The first concer∣ning prayers for such promises as may bee accomplished in ages to come. 32
    • 1 § Such prayers the Church to come doth reape 33
    • 2 § Yet wee at present may have an answer about them. 39
    • 3 § In heaven, and at the last day wee shall rejoyce for their accomplishment. 40
  • Page  [unnumbered]CHAP. 3. Second Case: Concerning pray∣ers made for others of our friends, &c. How answered. p. 42
    • 1 § Such prayers oft granted. 44
    • 2 § Yet not alwayes in the very thing prayed for. 46
      • Such promises but indefinite. 49
      • As all temporall promises are 51
      • Our faith towards them not required to be assurance. 53
      • Vnlesse God give a speciall faith 58
    • 3 § Such prayers returned into our owne bosomes. 61
    • 4 § God in the end casts some out of our prayers 65
    • 5 § Those prayers answered in some o∣thers. 68
  • CHAP. 4. Third Case: How the influence of our owne prayers, when others pray also for the same thing with us, may bee dis∣cerned. 72
    • 1 § If our hearts are affected with the same holy affection 73
      • Vnbeknowne each to other. 75
    • 2 § By some speciall endeavor: as,
      • 1 Some notable circumstance. 76
      • 2 By joy in the accomplishment. 79
      • 3 By thankfulnesse for the accomplish∣ment. 81
    • Page  [unnumbered] 3 §. This lesse to be doubted when the thing prayed for by us doth concerne our owne particular. p. 82
  • CHAP. 5 Common directions helpfull in all cases, and prayers: taken first from obser∣vations from Before and In praying. p. 85
    • 1 § BEFORE: when God prepares the heart. 86
      • Difference between Satans motions to prayer and Gods. 89
    • 2 § IN prayer: Gods speakings in prayer are evidences of hearing: and discer∣ned by 4 things. 93
      • 1 Giving a quietnes by praier about the thing prayed for. ibid
    • 3 § 2 By revealing his love, in and upon such petitions. 99
      • A caution herein. 103
      • Reasons why God draws nigh when he grants not the thing 104
    • 4 § 3 God sometimes gives a particular assurance. 107
      • A caution herein. 111
    • 5 § 4 By giving a restlesse importunity to pray for a particular mercy. 117
  • CHAP. 6 Observations made upon the di∣sposition of the heart AFTER prayer: Vntill the ISSVE of the thing prayed for p. 119
    • Page  [unnumbered] 1 § When God gives an obedient depen∣dant heart. pag. 119
    • 2 § when God gives an heart waiting for and expecting it. 123
  • CHAP. 7 Observations made AFTER prayer Vpon the ISSVE: first If Accom∣plisht: whether as the fruit of prayer, or of common providence. 125
    • 1 § God sometimes answers the prayer in the very thing and maner desired. 126
    • 2 § Directions to discerne that things thus obtained are in answer to prayers. 134
      • 1 From the maner of Gods performance. A more then ordinary hand discovered in things accomplisht by prayer, instan∣ced in 5. particulars. ibid
        • 1 By bringing it to passe through dif∣ficulties. 135
        • 2 By facilitating all meanes. 137
        • 3 Effecting it suddenly. 139
        • 4 With addition of other mercies a∣bove what was desired. 141
        • 5 By some speciall circumstance as a token of his hand in it. 142
    • 3 § 2 From the Time, wherein it is ac∣complisht. 146
      • As first when we were most instant in prayer. 147
      • 2 In the fittest time for us. Then, 150
        • Page  [unnumbered] 1 When we have most need. 151
        • 2 When the heart was best prepared to receive it. 154
    • 4 § 3 From the proportion which may bee observed betwixt Gods dealings in the accomplishment, and our prayers. 158
  • CHAP. 8. Seven observations more, from the Effects, which the accomplishment of the mercy hath upon the heart. 163
    • 1 § If it draw the heart nearer to God. ibid
    • 2 § Enlargeth the heart with thankful∣nesse. 166
    • 3 § And encourageth the heart the more to pray, for other things. 169
    • 4 § If it makes more carefull to performe the vowes made to obtaine it. 170
    • 5 § If by faith a man sees and acknow∣ledgeth Gods sole hand in the accom∣plishment. 174
    • 6 § By an assurance which comes some∣times with the mercy. 178
    • 7 § By the event: Things obtained by prayer prove stable mercies. 179
  • CHAP. 9. Considerations, to quiet us, and to helpe to discerne an acceptation of the prayer, when the thing is Not Accom∣plisht. 183
    • 1 § The thing not alwayes granted, when yet the prayer is heard. ibid.
    • 2 § Some blessings not absolutely promi∣sed, nor absolutely to be prayed for. 188
      • In which a deniall is to bee interpre∣ted as best for us in Gods judge∣ment. 190
    • 3 § There may be a reservation in the de∣niall, for some greater mercy. ibid
    • 4 § There may bee a transmutation into some other blessing of the same kind. 193
    • 5 § God when hee denies, yet answereth to the ground of our prayers. 196
    • 6 § And yeelds farre in it, to give satis∣faction to his child. 203
    • 7 § Wee may know that the prayer not∣withstanding is accepted, by the effects upon the heart, which are 4. 206
      • 1 If we acknowledge God righteous in the deniall. ibid.
      • 2 If God fills the heart with content∣ment in the deniall. 207
      • 3 If the heart bee thankfull out of faith. 209
      • 4 If not discouraged, but prayes still. 210
  • CHAP. 10. Application: A reproofe of them that pray, but looke not after the Returnes of their prayers: The causes of this neglect: are 212
    • Page  [unnumbered] 1 Temptations: 1 From want of assu∣rance that our persons are accepted, 216
      • 2 From the weaknes of our prayers: three answers to it. 221
      • 3 From not obtaining what wee formerly prayed for, answered by 4. things. 227
    • 2 More sinfull discouragements as, 231
      • 1 From slothfulnesse in praying. 232
      • 2 Looking at prayer as a duty only, and not as a meanes to obtaine. 236
      • 3 Falling into sinne after prayers. 240
  • Sixe Observations more out of the Text.
    • 1 Observ. That God doth sometimes not speake peace to his owne people. 245
    • 2 Obser. The cause thereof some folly. 251
    • 3 Observ. God only can speak peace. 258
    • 4 Observ. God easily can give peace. 267
    • 5 Observ. God will certainly speak to his people. 278
    • 6 Observ. After peace spoken his people should returne no more to folly. 283
  • The sin and folly of relapsing shewne by 7. reasons. 29
  • Temptations from relapse into the same sinne after peace spoken, answered
    • By Scriptures. 32
    • By 3 Examples. 33
    • By 4 Reasons. 34
    • 5 Cautions. 36
FINIS.