My wife, Brandon, gave me The Works of John Newton for my birthday (I know, I think she likes me). Today I read a few of his hymns and letters. In a letter entitled, On Communion with God, Newton wrote:
If any pretend to know God, and to have communion with him, otherwise than by the knowledge of Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent, and by faith in his name, it is a proof that they neither know God nor themselves…But when his Holy Spirit enables us to receive the record which he has given to his Son, we are delivered and secured from condemnation; we are accepted in the Beloved; we are united to him in whom all the fullness of the Godhead substantially dwells, and all the riches of Divine wisdom, power, and love, are treasured up. (Vol. I, pg. 215)
The point Newton was making is, the believer, based on the work of Christ, has “intimate communion with God.” One of the benefits of that communion is prayer. Newton later wrote:
…he (God) permits and enables them (Christians) to acquaint him with all their cares, fears, wants, and troubles, with more freedom than they can unbosom themselves to their nearest earthly friends. His ear is always open to them; he is never weary of hearing their complaints, and answering their petitions. The men of the world would account it a high honour and privilege to have an unrestrained liberty of access to an earthly king; but what words can express the privilege and honour of believers, who, whenever they please have audience of the King of kings, whose compassion, mercy, and power, are, like his majesty, infinite. (pg. 219)
What a privilege indeed! I would be remiss if I ended this post without offering the following lines from Newton’s hymn, Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare.
Thou art coming to a King, Large petitions with thee bring; For His grace and power are such, None can ever ask too much.