Restraining Prayer Before God
Job 15:4
Yes, you cast off fear, and restrain prayer before God.

When the fear of God is cast off, the first and fundamental principle of personal religion is removed; and when prayer before God is restrained, it is an evidence that this first and fundamental principle is either wanting altogether, or for a time suspended in its exercise. To "cast off fear" is to live "without God in the world"; and to restrain prayer before God is a sure indication that this godless, graceless life, is already begun in the soul, and will speedily manifest itself in the character and conduct.


1. It has God for its object. To each of the persons of the Godhead prayer may and should be made. To pray unto any of the host of heaven, or any mere creature whatever, is both a senseless and a sinful exercise. Because none of them can hear or answer our prayers. They know not the heart. They cannot be everywhere present. They cannot answer. To pray to any creature is sinful, because giving to the creature the glory which belongs exclusively to the Creator. To hear, accept, and answer prayer, is the peculiar prerogative of the only "living and true God." By this He is distinguished from the "gods many and lords many" of the heathen.

2. It has Christ for its only medium. "In whom we have boldness, and access with confidence, by the faith of Him." He is our friend at the court of heaven.

3. It has the Bible for its rule and reason. For its rule to direct us. It is the reason for enforcing prayer.

4. It has the heart for its seat. It does not consist in eloquence, in fluency of speech, in animal excitement, in bodily attitudes, or in outward forms. Words may be necessary to prayer, even in secret, for we think in words; but words are not of the nature and essence of prayer. There may be prayer without utterance or expression; but there can be no prayer without the outgoing of the heart, and the offering up of the desires unto God.

II. WHAT IS IT TO RESTRAIN PRAYER BEFORE GOD? This fault does not apply to the prayerless. They who never pray to God at all, cannot be charged with restraining prayer before Him.

1. Prayer may be restrained as to times. Most people pray to God sometimes. It is a great privilege that we may pray to God at all times. The pressure of business and the want of time, form the usual excuse for infrequency in prayer. But is it not a duty to redeem time for this very purpose?

2. As to persons. For whom ought we to pray? Some are as selfish in their prayers as they are bigoted in their creed, and niggardly in their purse. Paul says, "I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men."

3. As to formal prayer. The attitude of prayer is assumed, the language of prayer is employed, and the forms of prayer are observed; but the spirit of prayer, which gives it life and energy and efficacy, is wanting. Now look at prayer in its power. Three attributes are requisite to make prayer of much avail with God; faith, importunity, and perseverance.

III. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF RESTRAINING PRAYER BEFORE GOD? These are just like the spirit and habit from which they flow, — evil, only evil, and that continually, to individuals, to families, and to communities, civil and sacred. The evils may be comprised and expressed in two particulars, — the prevention of Divinely promised blessings, and exposure to Divine judgments. Let these considerations be —

(1)  A warning to the prayerless, and

(2)  A monitor to the prayerful.

(George Robson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.

WEB: Yes, you do away with fear, and hinder devotion before God.

Restraining Prayer
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