Plead with God the Merit and Righteousness of Jesus Christ

Another gospel-centered prayer. This time from Matthew Henry.

The merit and righteousness of my Lord Jesus Christ, which I rely upon as my main plea in my petition for the pardon of sin.

I know that as you are gracious and merciful, so you are the righteous God who loves righteous deeds, and will by no means clear the guilty. I cannot say, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything,” for I am like one who is unclean, and all my righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. But Jesus Christ has become to me righteousness from God; being made to be sin, though he knew no sin, so that in him I might become the righteousness of God.

I have sinned, but I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for my sins, and not for mine only but also for the sins of the whole world.

It is God who justifies, who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for me, and whose blood speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

I desire to count everything as loss for the sake of Christ, and as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own, but that which comes through faith in Christ.

This is the name whereby I, with your people, will call him, THE LORD IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. In him, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.

Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured; the Son of David, remember all his offerings and regard with favor his burnt sacrifices; and do not turn away the face of your Anointed One, who by his own blood has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on my behalf.

Have you not yourself put forward your Son, Christ Jesus, as a propitiation for sin by his blood, to be received by faith; to show God’s righteousness for the remission of sins, to show your righteousness at the present time, so that you might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus? And so, I now receive reconciliation.


Rely on Jesus Alone for Acceptance with God

Here is a beautiful, gospel-centered prayer from Matthew Henry. It is a prayer that, if you prayer it and believe it, will help you root your acceptance and righteousness before God in Christ alone.

I must profess my entire reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ alone for acceptance with God and come in his name.

I do not present my plea before you because of my righteousness, [Daniel 9:18] for I am before you in my guilt, [Ezra 9:15] and cannot stand before you because of it; [Psalm 130:3] but I make mention of Christ’s righteousness, even of his only, who is the LORD our righteousness, [Jeremiah 23:6] and therefore the LORD my righteousness.

I know that even spiritual sacrifices are acceptable to God only through Christ Jesus, [1 Peter 2:5] nor can I hope to receive anything but what I ask of you in his name; [John 16:23] and therefore, bless me in the Beloved, [Ephesians 1:6] that other angel who put much incense to the prayers of the saints and offers them up on the golden altar before the throne. [Revelation 8:3]

I come in the name of the great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, who is able to sympathize with my weaknesses, [Hebrews 4:14-15] and is therefore able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. [Hebrews 7:25]

Behold, O God, my shield, and look on the face of your Anointed, [Psalm 84:9] in whom you have by a voice from heaven declared yourself to be well pleased; Lord, be well pleased with me in him. [Matthew 3:17]

For more prayers by Henry, check out Method for Prayer, a free online e-book.

Life Theology

Matthew Henry on Killing Sin

It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to the things of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, as weeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them. Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, and no provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin must be avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world; and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, and of outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, because if we do not kill them, they will kill us. The gospel changes the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports the rule of right reason and conscience, over appetite and passion.

– Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Colossians 3:5-10