Prayer in the Pentateuch Part 2 -- By: L. Paul Moore, Jr.

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 098:392 (Oct 1941)
Article: Prayer in the Pentateuch Part 2
Author: L. Paul Moore, Jr.


Prayer in the Pentateuch
Part 2

L. Paul Moore, Jr.

(Continued from the July-September Number, 1941)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 3–4, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–2 respectively.}

The Limits of Prayer

Were we examining the New Testament teaching concerning prayer, instead of teaching the Pentateuch, the heading we have chosen for this section would indeed be a misnomer. The prayer of the New Testament believer is limited in its scope only by the fulness of God (see Eph 3:19b). But, when we consider that the Abrahamic covenant set forth primarily a condition which God under oath declared that He would bring to pass upon the earth, there must needs then be limits upon the scope of petitions which can be offered with appeal to that covenant.

We are not at all ignorant that God swore to multiply the seed of Abraham “as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore” (Gen 22:17), possibly indicating that to Abraham would be given two seeds, a heavenly as well as an earthly seed. The apostle Paul states that Abraham “received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be in uncircumcision” (Rom 4:11). Therefore he can say to the Galatians, “So then they that are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham” (Gal 3:9). Hence it is that he explains the world-wide reach of the Abrahamic blessing thus: “For this cause it [the becoming an heir] is of faith, that it may be according to grace; to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, A father of many nations have I made thee) before him whom he believed, even God, who giveth life to the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were” (Rom 4:16, 17).

All this is true, for us who are “in Christ” (2 Cor 5:17), and yet for Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, and the individual believer who could appeal only to the plain meaning of earthly promises, their prayers were limited to the earth. They knew not to pray, as Paul knew, that the Father “would grant you, ac...

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