Arminian Prayer

The following comments about “Arminian prayer” come from Charles Spurgeon and Herman Hoeksema. Please compare both of these men’s comments to see if they are basically saying the same thing, or if they are not saying the same thing.

Herman Hoeksema says:

“Never will a regenerated child of God present the matter of his salvation as having had its initiative in him. Never will he say that anything on his part preceded the operation of God’s grace in him: that he first willed to come, and God’s grace thereupon enabled him to come, that he first accepted Christ and thereupon Christ received him, that he first opened his heart and thereupon Christ entered it. An unmistakable proof of this may be found in the prayer of one that is saved. Here all Arminianism, all boasting of free will in the matter of salvation, is silenced. The reason is that in prayer one speaks to God. Before men, one may talk of coming to Jesus as if it were in the power of the sinner to come or to refuse to come, but as soon as he places himself before the face of God, all this is changed. Then all is attributed to divine grace. Before the face of God there is no Arminian.

Whoever heard anyone utter an Arminian prayer like this:

‘I thank thee, God, that Thou didst wait until it pleased me to come, and that Thou didst knock until I was good enough to open my heart for Thee, and that Thou gavest me grace when I decided to receive it’?

Yet why should not a man express before the face of God what he loudly and boldly proclaims to man? The simple answer is that before God we cannot lie! Hence, in prayer a saved sinner will attribute all to God and none to self. He will cease speaking about the free will of man and say,

‘I thank Thee that Thy irresistible grace overpowered all my resistance, that Thou didst open and enter into my heart, that Thou didst draw me that I might come!’

And this is the heart of the assurance and boldness of the sinner as he comes to Jesus. The very fact that in his coming to Jesus the sinner experiences the drawing of the Father is his guarantee that he will surely be received” (Herman Hoeksema, Whosoever Will, p. 80, second edition 2002, Reformed Free Publishing Association).

Charles Spurgeon says:
“You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say; but you never heard an Arminian prayer—for the saints in prayer appear as one in word, and deed and mind. An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about free-will: there is no room for it. Fancy him praying, ‘Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not—that is the difference between me and them.’ That is a prayer for the devil, for nobody else would offer such a prayer as that. Ah! when they are preaching and talking very slowly, there may be wrong doctrine; but when they come to pray, the true thing slips out; they cannot help it. If a man talks very slowly, he may speak in a fine manner; but when he comes to talk fast, the old brogue of his country, where he was born, slips out. I ask you again, did you ever meet a Christian man who said, ‘I came to Christ without the power of the Spirit?’ If you ever did meet such a man, you need have no hesitation in saying, ‘My dear sir, I quite believe it—and I believe you went away again without the power of the Spirit, and that you know nothing about the matter, and are in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity'” (Charles Spurgeon, Free Will — A Slave).
http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/sermons/0052.htm
For a brief addition to the quotes above, please read the following link:
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