[Matthew Henry is greatly known for his magnificent commentary on the whole Bible.  He also wrote a book proposing A Method for Prayer, in between writing volumes of that commentary.  This series of articles is from that book.] A Study by Matthew Henry (1662-1714)   How to Spend Every Day with God, pt. 3   “…On Thee do I wait all the day.” (Psalm 25:5). For   the   second   thing .   Having   showed   you   what   it   is   to   wait   on   God,   I   come   next   to show that this we must do every day, and all the day long. We   must   wait   on   our   God   every   day.   Omni   die ,   so   some   say.   This   is   the   work   of every   day,   which   is   to   be   done   in   its   day,   for   the   duty   of   every   day   requires   it. Servants   in   the   courts   of   princes   have   their   weeks   or   months   of   waiting   appointed them,   and   are   tied   to   attend   only   at   certain   times.   But   God’s   servants   must   never   be out   of   waiting:   all   the   days   of   our   appointed   time,   the   time   of   our   work   and   warfare here   on   earth,   we   must   be   waiting   (see   Job   14:14),   and   not   desire   or   expect   to   be discharged   from   this   attendance   till   we   come   to   heaven,   where   we   shall   wait   on God, as angels do, more nearly and constantly. We must wait on God every day. 1.   Both   on   Sabbath   days   and   on   week   days.   The   Lord’s   day   is   instituted   and appointed   on   purpose   for   our   attendance   on   God   in   the   courts   of   his   house;   there we   must   wait   on   him,   to   give   glory   to   him,   and   to   receive   both   commands   and favours   from   him.   Ministers   must   then   wait   on   their   ministry   (see   Rom.   12:7),   and people   must   wait   on   it   too,   saying,   as   Cornelius   for   himself   and   his   friends,   “Now are   we   all   here   ready   before   God,   to   hear   all   things   that   are   commanded   thee   of God”    (Acts   10:33).   It   is   for   the   honour   of   God   to   help   to   fill   up   the   assemblies   of those   that   attend   at   the   footstool   of   his   throne,   and   to   add   to   their   number.   The whole   Sabbath   time,   except   what   is   taken   up   in   works   of   necessity   and   mercy,   must be   employed   in   waiting   on   our   God.   Christians   are   spiritual   priests,   and   as   such   it   is their business to wait in God’s house at the time appointed. But   that   is   not   enough,   we   must   wait   upon   our   God   on   weekdays   too;   for   every day   of   the   week,   we   want   mercy   from   him,   and   have   work   to   do   for   him.   Our waiting   upon   him   in   public   ordinances,   on   the   first   day   of   the   week,   is   designed   to fix   us   to,   and   fit   us   for,   communion   with   him   all   the   week   after;   so   that   we   answer not   the   intentions   of   the   Sabbath,   unless   the   impressions   of   it   abide   upon   us,   and   go with   us   into   the   business   of   the   week,   and   be   kept   always   in   the   imagination   of   the thoughts   of   our   heart.   Thus,   from   one   Sabbath   to   another,   and   from   one   new   moon to   another,   we   must   keep   in   a   holy   gracious   frame,   must   be   so   in   the   Spirit   on   the Lord’s day, as to walk in the Spirit all the week. 2.   Both   on   idle   days,   and   busy   days,   we   must   be   found   waiting   on   God.   Some   days of   our   lives   are   days   of   labour   and   hurry,   when   our   particular   calling   calls   for   our close   and   diligent   application;   but   we   must   not   think   that   will   excuse   us   from   our constant   attendance   on   God.   Even   then,   when   our   hands   are   working   about   the world,   our   hearts   may   be   waiting   on   our   God,   by   a   habitual   regard   to   him,   to   his providence   as   our   guide,   and   his   glory   as   our   end   in   our   worldly   business;   and   thus we   must   abide   with   him   in   them.   Those   that   rise   up   early,   and   sit   up   late,   and   eat the   bread   of   carefulness   in   pursuit   of   the   world,   yet   are   concerned   to   wait   on   God, because   otherwise   all   their   care   and   pains   will   signify   nothing,   it   is   labour   in   vain (see Psalm 127:1-2); nay, it is labour in the fire. Some   days   of   our   lives   we   relax   in   business   and   take   our   ease.   Many   of   you   have your   time   for   diversion,   but   then   when   you   lay   aside   other   business,   this   of   waiting upon    God    must    not    be    laid    aside.    When    you    prove    yourselves    with    mirth,    as Solomon   did,   and   say,   you   will   enjoy   pleasure   a   little,   yet   let   this   wisdom   remain with   you   (Eccl.   2:1-3);   let   your   eye   be   then   up   to   God,   and   take   heed   of   dropping your   communion   with   him,   in   that   which   you   call   an   agreeable   conversation   with your   friends.   Whether   it   be   a   day   of   work,   or   a   day   of   rest,   we   shall   find   nothing like   waiting   upon   God,   both   to   lighten   the   toil   of   our   work,   and   to   sweeten   the comfort   of   our   repose.   So   that   whether   we   have   much   to   do   or   little   to   do   in   the world,   still   we   must   wait   upon   God,   that   we   may   be   kept   from   the   temptation   that attends both the one and the other. 3.   Both   in   days   of   prosperity,   and   in   days   of   adversity,   we   must   be   found   waiting upon   God.   Doth   the   world   smile   upon   us,   and   court   us?   Yet   let   us   not   turn   from attending   on   God,   to   make   our   court   to   it.   If   we   have   ever   so   much   of   the   wealth   of the   world,   yet   we   cannot   say   we   have   no   need   of   God,   no   further   occasion   to   make use   of   him;   as   David   was   ready   to   say,   when,   in   his   prosperity,   he   said   he   should never    be    moved;    but    soon    saw    his    error,    when    God    hid    his    face,    and    he    was troubled    (see    Psalm    30:6).    When    our    affairs    prosper,    and    into    our    hands    God bringeth   plentifully,   we   must   wait   upon   God   as   our   great   landlord,   and   own   our obligations   to   him;   we   must   beg   his   blessing   on   what   we   have,   and   his   favour   with it,   and   depend   upon   him   both   for   the   continuance   and   for   the   comfort   of   it.   We must   wait   upon   God   for   wisdom   and   grace,   to   use   what   we   have   in   the   world   for the   ends   for   which   we   are   entrusted   with   it,   as   those   that   must   give   account,   and know   not   how   soon.   And   how   much   soever   we   have   of   this   world,   and   how   richly soever   it   is   given   us   to   enjoy   it,   still   we   must   wait   upon   God   for   better   things,   not only   that   which   the   world   gives,   but   that   which   he   himself   gives   in   this   world. Lord, put me not off with this world for a portion. And   when   the   world   frowns   upon   us,   and   things   go   very   cross,   we   must   not   so   fret ourselves   at   its   frowns,   or   so   frighten   ourselves   with   them,   as   thereby   to   be   driven off   from   waiting   on   God,   but   rather   let   us   thereby   be   driven   to   it.   Afflictions   are sent   for   this   end,   to   bring   us   to   the   throne   of   grace,   to   teach   us   to   pray,   and   to   make the   word   of   God’s   grace   precious   to   us.   In   the   day   of   our   sorrow   we   must   wait   upon God   for   those   comforts   which   are   sufficient   to   balance   our   griefs.   Job,   when   in   tears, fell   down   and   worshipped   God,   in   His   taking   away,   as   well   as   giving.   In   the   day   of our   fear   we   must   wait   upon   God   for   those   encouragements   that   are   sufficient   to silence   our   fears.   Jehoshaphat,   in   his   distress,   waited   on   God,   and   it   was   not   in   vain, his   heart   was   established   by   it:   and   so   was   David’s   often,   which   brought   him   to   this resolution,   which   was   an   anchor   to   his   soul:   “What   time   I   am   afraid,   I   will   trust   in thee”  (Ps. 56:3). 4.   Both   in   the   days   of   youth,   and   in   the   days   of   old   age,   we   must   be   found   waiting on   God.   Those   that   are   young   cannot   begin   their   attendance   on   God   too   soon.   The child   Samuel   ministered   to   the   Lord,   and   the   Scripture   story   puts   a   particular   mark of   honour   upon   it;   and   Christ   was   wonderfully   pleased   with   the   hosannas   of   the children    that    waited    on    him,    when    he    rode    in    triumph    into    Jerusalem.    When Solomon,   in   his   youth,   upon   his   accession   to   the   throne,   waited   upon   God   for wisdom,   it   is   said   the   saying   pleased   the   Lord.   “I   remember   thee”    (saith   God   to Israel)   “even   the   kindness   of   thy   youth,   when   thou   wentest   after   me,   and   didst wait   upon   me   in   the   wilderness”    (Jer.   2:2).   To   wait   upon   God,   is   to   be   mindful   of our   Creator;   and   the   proper   time   for   that   is   in   the   days   of   our   youth   (see   Eccl.   12:1). Those   that   would   wait   upon   God   aright,   must   learn   betimes   to   do   it;   the   most accomplished courtiers are those bred at court. And   may   the   old   servants   of   Jesus   be   dismissed   from   waiting   on   him?   No,   their attendance   is   still   required,   and   shall   still   be   accepted:   They   shall   not   be   cast   off   by their   Master   in   the   time   of   old   age;   and   therefore   let   them   not   then   desert   his service.    When,    through    the    infirmities    of    age,    they    can    no    longer    be    working servants   in   God’s   family,   yet   they   may   be   waiting   servants.   Those   that,   like   Barzillai, are   unfit   for   the   entertainments   of   the   courts   of   earthly   princes,   yet   may   relish   the pleasure   of   God’s   courts   as   well   as   ever.   The   Levites,   when   they   were   past   the   age   of fifty,   and   were   discharged   from   the   toilsome   part   of   their   ministration,   yet   still   must wait   on   God,   must   be   quietly   waiting   to   give   honour   to   him,   and   to   receive   comfort from   him.   Those   that   have   done   the   will   of   God,   and   their   doing   work   is   at   an   end, have   need   of   patience   to   enable   them   to   wait   until   they   inherit   the   promise:   and   the nearer   the   happiness   is   which   they   are   waiting   for,   the   dearer   should   the   God   be they are waiting on, and hope shortly to be with eternally. 5.   We   must   wait   on   our   God   all   the   day   till   we   die,   so   we   read   it.   Every   day,   from morning   to   night,   we   must   continue   waiting   on   God:   whatever   change   there   may   be of   our   employment,   this   must   be   the   constant   disposition   of   our   souls,   we   must attend   upon   God,   and   have   our   eyes   ever   towards   him;   we   must   not   at   any   time allow   ourselves   to   wander   from   God,   or   to   attend   on   anything   besides   him,   but what   we   attend   on   for   him,   in   subordination   to   his   will,   and   in   subserviency   to   his glory. We achieve this by: 1.   We   must   cast   our   daily   cares   upon   him.   Every   day   brings   with   it   its   fresh   cares, more   or   less;   these   wake   with   us   every   morning,   and   we   need   not   go   so   far   forward as   to-morrow   to   fetch   care;   sufficient   unto   the   day   is   the   evil   thereof.   You   that   are great   dealers   in   the   world   have   your   cares   attending   you   all   the   day;   though   you keep   them   to   yourselves,   yet   they   sit   down   with   you,   and   rise   up   with   you;   they   go out   and   come   in   with   you,   and   are   more   a   load   upon   you   than   those   you   converse with    are    aware    of.    Some,    through    the    weakness    of    their    spirits,    can    scarcely determine anything but with fear and trembling. Let   this   burden   be   cast   upon   the   Lord,   believing   that   his   Providence   extends   itself to   all   your   affairs,   to   all   events   concerning   you,   and   to   all   the   circumstances   of   them, even   the   most   minute   and   seemingly   accidental;   that   your   times   are   in   his   hand, and   all   your   ways   at   his   disposal;   believe   his   promise,   that   all   things   shall   be   made to   work   for   good   to   those   that   love   him,   and   then   refer   it   to   him   in   everything,   to   do with   you   and   yours   as   seemeth   good   in   his   eyes,   and   rest   satisfied   in   having   done so,   and   resolve   to   be   easy.   Bring   your   cares   to   God   by   prayer   in   the   morning;   spread them   before   him,   and   then   make   it   to   appear   all   the   day,   by   the   composedness   and cheerfulness   of   your   spirits,   that   you   left   them   with   him   as   Hannah   did,   who,   when she   had   prayed,   went   her   way   and   did   eat,   and   her   countenance   was   no   more   sad (see   I   Sam.   1:18).   Commit   your   way   to   the   Lord,   and   then   submit   to   his   disposal   of it,    though    it    may    cross    your    expectations;    and    bear    up    yourselves    upon    the assurances   God   has   given   you,   that   he   will   care   for   you   as   the   tender   father   for   his child. 2.   We   must   manage   our   daily   business   for   him,   with   an   eye   to   his   providence, putting   us   into   the   calling   and   employment   wherein   we   are;   and   to   his   precept, making    diligence    in    it    our    duty;    with    an    eye    to    his    blessing,    as    that    which    is necessary   to   make   it   comfortable   and   successful;   and   to   his   glory   as   our   highest   end in   all.   This   sanctifies   our   common   actions   to   God,   and   sweetens   them,   and   makes them   pleasant   to   ourselves.   If   Gaius   brings   his   friends   that   he   is   parting   with   a   little way   on   their   journey,   it   is   but   a   piece   of   common   civility;   but   let   him   do   it   after   a godly   sort;   let   him   in   it   pay   respect   to   them,   because   they   belong   to   Christ;   and   for his   sake   let   him   do   it,   that   he   may   have   an   opportunity   of   so   much   more   profitable communication   with   them;   and   then   it   becomes   an   act   of   Christian   piety   (see   III John   6).   It   is   a   general   rule   by   which   we   must   govern   ourselves   in   the   business   of every   day.   Whatever   we   do,   in   word   or   deed,   let   us   do   all   in   the   name   of   the   Lord Jesus (see Col. 3:17); and thus in and by the Mediator we wait on our God. This   is   particularly   recommended   to   servants,   though   their   employments   are   but mean,   and   they   are   under   the   command   of   their   masters   according   to   the   flesh,   yet let   them   do   their   servile   work   as   the   servants   of   Christ,   as   unto   the   Lord   and   not unto   men;   let   them   do   it   with   singleness   of   heart   as   unto   Christ,   and   they   shall   be accepted   of   him,   and   from   him   shall   receive   the   reward   of   the   inheritance   (see   Eph. 6:5-8;   Col.   3:22-24).   Let   them   wait   on   God   all   the   day,   when   they   are   doing   their day’s   work,   by   doing   it   faithfully   and   conscientiously,   that   they   may   adorn   the doctrine   of   God   our   Saviour,   by   aiming   at   his   glory   even   in   common   business.   They work   that   they   may   get   bread;   they   desire   bread   that   they   may   live;   not   that   they may   live   to   themselves,   and   please   themselves,   but   that   they   may   live   to   God   and please   him.   They   work   that   they   may   fill   up   time,   and   fill   up   a   place   in   the   world, and    because    that    God,    who    made    and,    maintains    us,    has    appointed    us    with quietness to work and mind our own business. 3.   We   must   receive   our   daily   comforts   from   him;   we   must   wait   on   him   as   our benefactor;   as   the   eyes   of   all   things   wait   upon   him,   to   give   them   their   food   in   due season,   and   what   he   giveth   them,   that   they   gather.   To   him   we   must   look,   as   to   our father,   for   our   daily   bread,   and   from   him   we   are   appointed   to   ask   it,   yea,   though   we have   it   in   the   house,   though   we   have   it   upon   the   table;   we   must   wait   upon   him   for   a covenant    right    to    it,    for    leave    to    make    use    of    it,    for    a    blessing    upon    it,    for nourishment   by   it,   and   for   comfort   in   it.   It   is   in   the   word   and   prayer   that   we   wait   on God,   and   keep   up   communion   with   him,   and   by   these   every   creature   of   God   is sanctified   to   us   (see   I   Tim.   4:4-5),   and   the   property   of   it   is   altered.   To   the   pure   all things    are    pure;    they    have    them    from    the    covenant,    and    not    from    common providence;   which   makes   a   little   that   the   righteous   man   has,   better   than   the   riches of many wicked, and much more valuable and comfortable. No   inducement   can   be   more   powerful   to   make   us   see   to   it,   that   what   we   have   we get    it    honestly,    and    use    it    soberly,    and    give    God    his    due    out    of    it,    than    this consideration,   that   we   have   our   all   from   the   hand   of   God,   and   are   entrusted   with   it as   stewards,   and   consequently   are   accountable.   If   we   have   this   thought   as   a   golden thread   running   through   all   the   comforts   of   every   day,   these   are   God’s   gifts;   every   bit we   eat,   and   every   drop   we   drink,   is   his   mercy;   every   breath   we   draw,   and   every step   we   take,   is   his   mercy:   this   will   keep   us   continually   waiting   upon   him,   as   the donkey    on    his    master’s    crib,    and    will    put    a    double    sweetness    into    all    our enjoyments.   God   will   have   his   mercies   taken   fresh   from   his   compassions,   which   for this   reason   are   said   to   be   new   every   morning;   and   therefore   it   is   not   once   a-week that   we   are   to   wait   upon   him,   as   people   go   to   market   to   buy   provisions   for   the whole   week,   but   we   must   wait   on   him   every   day,   and   all   the   day,   as   those   that   live from hand to mouth, and yet live very easy. 4.   We   must   resist   our   daily   temptations,   and   do   our   daily   duties   in   the   strength   of his   grace.   Every   day   brings   its   temptations   with   it.   Our   Master   knew   that,   when   he taught   us,   as   duly   as   we   pray   for   our   daily   bread,   to   pray   that   we   might   not   be   led into   temptation.   There   is   no   business   we   engage   in,   no   enjoyment   we   partake   of, but   has   its   snares   attending   it.   Satan   by   it   assaults   us,   and   endeavours   to   draw   us into   sin.   Now   sin   is   the   great   evil   we   should   be   continually   upon   our   guard   against, as   Nehemiah   was,   in   Neh.   6:13:   “That   I   should   be   afraid,   and   do   so,   and   sin.”   And we   have   no   way   to   secure   ourselves   but   by   waiting   on   God   all   the   day;   we   must   not only   in   the   morning   put   ourselves   under   the   protection   of   his   grace,   but   we   must   all day   keep   ourselves   under   the   shelter   of   it;   must   not   only   go   forth,   but   go   on   in dependence   upon   that   grace,   which   he   hath   said   shall   be   sufficient   for   us,   that   care, which   will   not   suffer   us   to   be   tempted   above   what   we   are   able.   Our   waiting   upon God    will    furnish    us    with    the    best    arguments    to    make    use    of    in    resisting temptations,   and   with   strength   according   to   the   day;   be   strong   in   the   Lord,   and   in the power of his might, and then we wait on the Lord all the day. We   have   duty   to   do,   many   an   opportunity   of   speaking   good   words,   and   doing good   works,   and   we   must   see   and   own   that   we   are   not   sufficient   of   ourselves   for anything   that   is   good,   not   so   much   as   to   think   a   good   thought:   we   must   therefore wait   upon   God,   must   seek   to   him,   and   depend   upon   him,   for   that   light   and   fire,   that wisdom   and   zeal,   which   is   necessary   to   the   due   discharge   of   our   duty;   that   by   his grace   we   may   not   only   be   fortified   against   every   evil   word   and   work,   but   furnished for   every   good   word   and   work.   From   the   fullness   that   is   in   Jesus   Christ,   we   must   by faith   be   continually   drawing   grace   for   grace;   grace   for   all   gracious   exercises,   grace to   help   in   every   time   of   need.   We   must   wait   on   this   grace,   must   follow   the   conduct of it, comply with the operations of it, and must be turned to it as wax to the seal. 5.   We   must   bear   our   daily   afflictions   with   submission   to   his   will.   We   are   taught   to expect   trouble   in   the   flesh.   Something   or   other   happens   that   grieves   us   every   day, something   in   our   relations,   something   in   our   callings,   events   concerning   ourselves, our   families   or   friends,   that   are   matter   of   sorrow:   perhaps   we   have   every   day   some bodily   pain   or   sickness,   or   some   cross   and   disappointment   in   our   affairs;   now   in these   we   must   wait   upon   God.   Christ   requires   it   of   all   his   disciples,   that   they   take up   their   cross   daily   (see   Matt.   16:   24).   We   must   not   willfully   pluck   the   cross   down upon   us,   but   must   take   it   up   when   God   lays   it   in   our   way,   and   not   go   a   step   out   of the   way   of   duty,   either   to   court   it   or   to   miss   it.   It   is   not   enough   to   bear   the   cross,   but we   must   take   it   up,   we   must   accommodate   ourselves   to   it,   and   acquiesce   in   the   will of   God   in   it.   Not,   as   in,   this   is   an   evil,   and   I   must   bear   it,   because   I   cannot   help   it; but, as in, this is an evil, and I will bear it, because it is the will of God. We   must   see   every   affliction   allotted   us   by   our   heavenly   Father,   and   in   it   must   eye his   correcting   hand,   and   therefore   must   wait   on   him   to   know   the   cause   wherefore he   contends   with   us,   what   the   fault   is   for   which   we   are   in   this   affliction   chastened; what   the   distemper   is   which   is   to   be   by   this   affliction   cured,   that   we   may   answer God’s   end   in   afflicting   us,   and   so   may   be   made   partakers   of   his   holiness.   We   must attend   the   motions   of   Providence,   keep   our   eye   upon   our   Father   when   he   frowns, that   we   may   discover   what   his   mind   is,   and   what   the   obedience   is   we   are   to   learn by   the   things   that   we   suffer.   We   must   wait   on   God   for   support   under   our   burdens; we   must   put   ourselves   into,   and   stay   ourselves   upon,   the   everlasting   arms   which are   laid   under   the   children   of   God,   to   sustain   them   when   the   rod   of   God   is   upon them.   And   him   we   must   attend   for   deliverance;   we   must   not   seek   to   extricate ourselves   by   any   sinful   indirect   methods,   nor   look   to   creatures   for   relief,   but   still wait   on   the   Lord   until   he   has   mercy   on   us;   well   content   to   bear   the   burden   until God   ease   us   of   it,   and   ease   us   in   mercy   (see   Ps.   123:2).   If   the   affliction   be   lengthened out,   yet   we   must   wait   upon   the   Lord   even   when   he   hides   his   face   (see   Isa.   8:17), hoping it is but in a little wrath, and for a small moment (Isa. 54:7-8). 6.   We   must   expect   the   tidings   and   events   of   every   day   with   a   cheerful   and   entire resignation    to    the    divine    Providence.    While    we    are    in    this    world,    we    are    still expecting,   hoping   well,   fearing   ill;   we   know   not   what   a   day,   or   a   night,   or   an   hour, may   bring   forth   (see   Prov.   27:1),   but   it   is   big   with   something,   and   we   are   too   apt   to spend   our   thoughts   in   vain   about   things   future,   which   happen   quite   differently from what we imagined. Now, in all our prospects we must wait upon God. Are   we   in   hopes   of   good   tidings,   a   good   issue?   Let   us   wait   on   God   as   the   giver   of the   good   we   hope   for,   and   be   ready   to   take   it   from   his   hand,   and   to   meet   him   with suitable   affections   then,   when   he   is   coming   towards   us   in   a   way   of   mercy.   Whatever good   we   hope   for,   it   is   God   alone,   and   his   wisdom,   power,   and   goodness,   that   we must   hope   in. And   therefore   our   hopes   must   be   humble   and   modest,   and   regulated by   his   will.   What   God   has   promised   us   we   may   with   assurance   promise   ourselves, and   no   more.   If   thus   we   wait   on   God   in   our   hope,   should   the   hope   be   deferred,   it would   not   make   the   heart   sick;   no,   not   if   it   should   be   disappointed;   for   the   God   we wait   on   will   over-rule   all   for   the   best.   But   when   the   desire   comes,   in   prosecution   of which   we   have   thus   waited   on   God,   we   may   see   it   coming   from   his   love,   and   it   will be a tree of life (see Prov. 13:12). Are    we    in    fear    of    evil    tidings,    of    melancholy    events,    and    a    sad    issue    of    the depending   affair?   Let   us   wait   on   God   to   be   delivered   from   all   our   fears,   from   the things   themselves   we   are   afraid   of,   and   from   the   amazing   tormenting   fears   of   them (see   Psalm   34:4).   When   Jacob   was,   with   good   reason,   afraid   of   his   brother   Esau,   he waited   on   God,   brought   his   fears   to   him,   wrestled   with   him,   and   prevailed   for deliverance.   What   time   I   am   afraid,   saith   David,   I   will   trust   in   thee,   and   wait   on thee;   and   that   shall   establish   the   heart,   shall   fix   it,   so   as   to   set   it   above   the   fear   of   evil tidings. Are    we    in    suspense    between    hope    and    fear,    sometimes    one    prevails,    and sometimes   the   other?   Let   us   wait   on   God,   as   the   God   to   whom   belong   the   issues   of life   and   death,   good   and   evil,   from   whom   our   judgment,   and   every   man’s,   doth proceed,   and   compose   ourselves   into   a   quiet   expectation   of   the   event,   whatever   it may   be,   with   a   resolution   to   accommodate   ourselves   to   it.   Hope   the   best,   and   get ready for the worst, and then take what God sends.  [This study will continue in the next issue, D. V.]  —————————————————————— This article is taken from:  Henry, Matthew.  A Method for Prayer. Glasgow: D. Mackenzie, 1834. (Originally published in 1710).  A PDF file of this book can be downloaded, free of charge, at: http://www.ClassicChristianLibrary.com    
© 1994-2017, Scott Sperling
[Matthew Henry is greatly known for his magnificent commentary on the whole Bible.  He also wrote a book proposing A Method for Prayer, in between writing volumes of that commentary.  This series of articles is from that book.] A Study by Matthew Henry (1662-1714)   How to Spend Every Day with God, pt. 3   “…On Thee do I wait all the day.” (Psalm 25:5). For   the   second   thing .   Having   showed   you   what   it   is   to wait   on   God,   I   come   next   to   show   that   this   we   must   do every day, and all the day long. We   must   wait   on   our   God   every   day.   Omni   die ,   so some   say.   This   is   the   work   of   every   day,   which   is   to   be done   in   its   day,   for   the   duty   of   every   day   requires   it. Servants   in   the   courts   of   princes   have   their   weeks   or months    of    waiting    appointed    them,    and    are    tied    to attend   only   at   certain   times.   But   God’s   servants   must never   be   out   of   waiting:   all   the   days   of   our   appointed time,   the   time   of   our   work   and   warfare   here   on   earth, we   must   be   waiting   (see   Job   14:14),   and   not   desire   or expect   to   be   discharged   from   this   attendance   till   we come   to   heaven,   where   we   shall   wait   on   God,   as   angels do, more nearly and constantly. We must wait on God every day. 1.   Both   on   Sabbath   days   and   on   week   days.   The   Lord’s day   is   instituted   and   appointed   on   purpose   for   our attendance   on   God   in   the   courts   of   his   house;   there   we must   wait   on   him,   to   give   glory   to   him,   and   to   receive both   commands   and   favours   from   him.   Ministers   must then   wait   on   their   ministry   (see   Rom.   12:7),   and   people must   wait   on   it   too,   saying,   as   Cornelius   for   himself and   his   friends,   “Now   are   we   all   here   ready   before God,   to   hear   all   things   that   are   commanded   thee   of God”    (Acts   10:33).   It   is   for   the   honour   of   God   to   help to   fill   up   the   assemblies   of   those   that   attend   at   the footstool   of   his   throne,   and   to   add   to   their   number.   The whole   Sabbath   time,   except   what   is   taken   up   in   works of   necessity   and   mercy,   must   be   employed   in   waiting on    our    God.    Christians    are    spiritual    priests,    and    as such   it   is   their   business   to   wait   in   God’s   house   at   the time appointed. But   that   is   not   enough,   we   must   wait   upon   our   God on   weekdays   too;   for   every   day   of   the   week,   we   want mercy   from   him,   and   have   work   to   do   for   him.   Our waiting   upon   him   in   public   ordinances,   on   the   first   day of   the   week,   is   designed   to   fix   us   to,   and   fit   us   for, communion   with   him   all   the   week   after;   so   that   we answer   not   the   intentions   of   the   Sabbath,   unless   the impressions   of   it   abide   upon   us,   and   go   with   us   into the   business   of   the   week,   and   be   kept   always   in   the imagination   of   the   thoughts   of   our   heart.   Thus,   from one   Sabbath   to   another,   and   from   one   new   moon   to another,   we   must   keep   in   a   holy   gracious   frame,   must be   so   in   the   Spirit   on   the   Lord’s   day,   as   to   walk   in   the Spirit all the week. 2.    Both    on    idle    days,    and    busy    days,    we    must    be found   waiting   on   God.   Some   days   of   our   lives   are   days of   labour   and   hurry,   when   our   particular   calling   calls for   our   close   and   diligent   application;   but   we   must   not think   that   will   excuse   us   from   our   constant   attendance on   God.   Even   then,   when   our   hands   are   working   about the   world,   our   hearts   may   be   waiting   on   our   God,   by   a habitual   regard   to   him,   to   his   providence   as   our   guide, and   his   glory   as   our   end   in   our   worldly   business;   and thus   we   must   abide   with   him   in   them.   Those   that   rise up    early,    and    sit    up    late,    and    eat    the    bread    of carefulness   in   pursuit   of   the   world,   yet   are   concerned to   wait   on   God,   because   otherwise   all   their   care   and pains    will    signify    nothing,    it    is    labour    in    vain    (see Psalm 127:1-2); nay, it is labour in the fire. Some   days   of   our   lives   we   relax   in   business   and   take our   ease.   Many   of   you   have   your   time   for   diversion, but   then   when   you   lay   aside   other   business,   this   of waiting   upon   God   must   not   be   laid   aside.   When   you prove   yourselves   with   mirth,   as   Solomon   did,   and   say, you   will   enjoy   pleasure   a   little,   yet   let   this   wisdom remain   with   you   (Eccl.   2:1-3);   let   your   eye   be   then   up   to God,   and   take   heed   of   dropping   your   communion   with him,   in   that   which   you   call   an   agreeable   conversation with   your   friends.   Whether   it   be   a   day   of   work,   or   a day   of   rest,   we   shall   find   nothing   like   waiting   upon God,    both    to    lighten    the    toil    of    our    work,    and    to sweeten   the   comfort   of   our   repose.   So   that   whether   we have   much   to   do   or   little   to   do   in   the   world,   still   we must   wait   upon   God,   that   we   may   be   kept   from   the temptation that attends both the one and the other. 3.   Both   in   days   of   prosperity,   and   in   days   of   adversity, we   must   be   found   waiting   upon   God.   Doth   the   world smile   upon   us,   and   court   us?   Yet   let   us   not   turn   from attending   on   God,   to   make   our   court   to   it.   If   we   have ever   so   much   of   the   wealth   of   the   world,   yet   we   cannot say   we   have   no   need   of   God,   no   further   occasion   to make   use   of   him;   as   David   was   ready   to   say,   when,   in his   prosperity,   he   said   he   should   never   be   moved;   but soon   saw   his   error,   when   God   hid   his   face,   and   he   was troubled   (see   Psalm   30:6).   When   our   affairs   prosper, and   into   our   hands   God   bringeth   plentifully,   we   must wait   upon   God   as   our   great   landlord,   and   own   our obligations   to   him;   we   must   beg   his   blessing   on   what we   have,   and   his   favour   with   it,   and   depend   upon   him both   for   the   continuance   and   for   the   comfort   of   it.   We must   wait   upon   God   for   wisdom   and   grace,   to   use what   we   have   in   the   world   for   the   ends   for   which   we are   entrusted   with   it,   as   those   that   must   give   account, and   know   not   how   soon.   And   how   much   soever   we have   of   this   world,   and   how   richly   soever   it   is   given   us to    enjoy    it,    still    we    must    wait    upon    God    for    better things,   not   only   that   which   the   world   gives,   but   that which   he   himself   gives   in   this   world.   Lord,   put   me   not off with this world for a portion. And   when   the   world   frowns   upon   us,   and   things   go very   cross,   we   must   not   so   fret   ourselves   at   its   frowns, or   so   frighten   ourselves   with   them,   as   thereby   to   be driven    off    from    waiting    on    God,    but    rather    let    us thereby   be   driven   to   it. Afflictions   are   sent   for   this   end, to   bring   us   to   the   throne   of   grace,   to   teach   us   to   pray, and   to   make   the   word   of   God’s   grace   precious   to   us.   In the   day   of   our   sorrow   we   must   wait   upon   God   for those    comforts    which    are    sufficient    to    balance    our griefs.   Job,   when   in   tears,   fell   down   and   worshipped God,   in   His   taking   away,   as   well   as   giving.   In   the   day of     our     fear     we     must     wait     upon     God     for     those encouragements   that   are   sufficient   to   silence   our   fears. Jehoshaphat,   in   his   distress,   waited   on   God,   and   it   was not   in   vain,   his   heart   was   established   by   it:   and   so   was David’s   often,   which   brought   him   to   this   resolution, which   was   an   anchor   to   his   soul:   “What   time   I   am afraid, I will trust in thee”  (Ps. 56:3). 4.   Both   in   the   days   of   youth,   and   in   the   days   of   old age,   we   must   be   found   waiting   on   God.   Those   that   are young   cannot   begin   their   attendance   on   God   too   soon. The    child    Samuel    ministered    to    the    Lord,    and    the Scripture   story   puts   a   particular   mark   of   honour   upon it;    and    Christ    was    wonderfully    pleased    with    the hosannas   of   the   children   that   waited   on   him,   when   he rode   in   triumph   into   Jerusalem.   When   Solomon,   in   his youth,   upon   his   accession   to   the   throne,   waited   upon God   for   wisdom,   it   is   said   the   saying   pleased   the   Lord. “I    remember    thee”     (saith    God    to    Israel)    “even    the kindness   of   thy   youth,   when   thou   wentest   after   me, and   didst   wait   upon   me   in   the   wilderness”    (Jer.   2:2). To   wait   upon   God,   is   to   be   mindful   of   our   Creator;   and the   proper   time   for   that   is   in   the   days   of   our   youth   (see Eccl.   12:1).   Those   that   would   wait   upon   God   aright, must   learn   betimes   to   do   it;   the   most   accomplished courtiers are those bred at court. And   may   the   old   servants   of   Jesus   be   dismissed   from waiting   on   him?   No,   their   attendance   is   still   required, and   shall   still   be   accepted:   They   shall   not   be   cast   off   by their   Master   in   the   time   of   old   age;   and   therefore   let them   not   then   desert   his   service.   When,   through   the infirmities    of    age,    they    can    no    longer    be    working servants    in    God’s    family,    yet    they    may    be    waiting servants.    Those    that,    like    Barzillai,    are    unfit    for    the entertainments    of    the    courts    of    earthly    princes,    yet may   relish   the   pleasure   of   God’s   courts   as   well   as   ever. The   Levites,   when   they   were   past   the   age   of   fifty,   and were    discharged    from    the    toilsome    part    of    their ministration,    yet    still    must    wait    on    God,    must    be quietly   waiting   to   give   honour   to   him,   and   to   receive comfort   from   him.   Those   that   have   done   the   will   of God,   and   their   doing   work   is   at   an   end,   have   need   of patience   to   enable   them   to   wait   until   they   inherit   the promise:   and   the   nearer   the   happiness   is   which   they are   waiting   for,   the   dearer   should   the   God   be   they   are waiting on, and hope shortly to be with eternally. 5.   We   must   wait   on   our   God   all   the   day   till   we   die,   so we   read   it.   Every   day,   from   morning   to   night,   we   must continue   waiting   on   God:   whatever   change   there   may be    of    our    employment,    this    must    be    the    constant disposition   of   our   souls,   we   must   attend   upon   God, and   have   our   eyes   ever   towards   him;   we   must   not   at any   time   allow   ourselves   to   wander   from   God,   or   to attend   on   anything   besides   him,   but   what   we   attend on    for    him,    in    subordination    to    his    will,    and    in subserviency to his glory. We achieve this by: 1.   We   must   cast   our   daily   cares   upon   him.   Every   day brings   with   it   its   fresh   cares,   more   or   less;   these   wake with   us   every   morning,   and   we   need   not   go   so   far forward   as   to-morrow   to   fetch   care;   sufficient   unto   the day   is   the   evil   thereof.   You   that   are   great   dealers   in   the world    have    your    cares    attending    you    all    the    day; though   you   keep   them   to   yourselves,   yet   they   sit   down with   you,   and   rise   up   with   you;   they   go   out   and   come in   with   you,   and   are   more   a   load   upon   you   than   those you   converse   with   are   aware   of.   Some,   through   the weakness     of     their     spirits,     can     scarcely     determine anything but with fear and trembling. Let   this   burden   be   cast   upon   the   Lord,   believing   that his   Providence   extends   itself   to   all   your   affairs,   to   all events   concerning   you,   and   to   all   the   circumstances   of them,   even   the   most   minute   and   seemingly   accidental; that   your   times   are   in   his   hand,   and   all   your   ways   at his   disposal;   believe   his   promise,   that   all   things   shall be   made   to   work   for   good   to   those   that   love   him,   and then   refer   it   to   him   in   everything,   to   do   with   you   and yours   as   seemeth   good   in   his   eyes,   and   rest   satisfied   in having    done    so,    and    resolve    to    be    easy.    Bring    your cares   to   God   by   prayer   in   the   morning;   spread   them before   him,   and   then   make   it   to   appear   all   the   day,   by the    composedness    and    cheerfulness    of    your    spirits, that   you   left   them   with   him   as   Hannah   did,   who,   when she   had   prayed,   went   her   way   and   did   eat,   and   her countenance    was    no    more    sad    (see    I    Sam.    1:18). Commit   your   way   to   the   Lord,   and   then   submit   to   his disposal   of   it,   though   it   may   cross   your   expectations; and   bear   up   yourselves   upon   the   assurances   God   has given   you,   that   he   will   care   for   you   as   the   tender   father for his child. 2.   We   must   manage   our   daily   business   for   him,   with an   eye   to   his   providence,   putting   us   into   the   calling and   employment   wherein   we   are;   and   to   his   precept, making   diligence   in   it   our   duty;   with   an   eye   to   his blessing,     as     that     which     is     necessary     to     make     it comfortable    and    successful;    and    to    his    glory    as    our highest   end   in   all.   This   sanctifies   our   common   actions to   God,   and   sweetens   them,   and   makes   them   pleasant to    ourselves.    If    Gaius    brings    his    friends    that    he    is parting   with   a   little   way   on   their   journey,   it   is   but   a piece   of   common   civility;   but   let   him   do   it   after   a   godly sort;   let   him   in   it   pay   respect   to   them,   because   they belong   to   Christ;   and   for   his   sake   let   him   do   it,   that   he may   have   an   opportunity   of   so   much   more   profitable communication   with   them;   and   then   it   becomes   an   act of   Christian   piety   (see   III   John   6).   It   is   a   general   rule   by which   we   must   govern   ourselves   in   the   business   of every   day.   Whatever   we   do,   in   word   or   deed,   let   us   do all   in   the   name   of   the   Lord   Jesus   (see   Col.   3:17);   and thus in and by the Mediator we wait on our God. This   is   particularly   recommended   to   servants,   though their   employments   are   but   mean,   and   they   are   under the   command   of   their   masters   according   to   the   flesh, yet   let   them   do   their   servile   work   as   the   servants   of Christ,   as   unto   the   Lord   and   not   unto   men;   let   them   do it   with   singleness   of   heart   as   unto   Christ,   and   they shall   be   accepted   of   him,   and   from   him   shall   receive the   reward   of   the   inheritance   (see   Eph.   6:5-8;   Col.   3:22- 24).   Let   them   wait   on   God   all   the   day,   when   they   are doing    their    day’s    work,    by    doing    it    faithfully    and conscientiously,   that   they   may   adorn   the   doctrine   of God    our    Saviour,    by    aiming    at    his    glory    even    in common   business.   They   work   that   they   may   get   bread; they   desire   bread   that   they   may   live;   not   that   they   may live    to    themselves,    and    please    themselves,    but    that they   may   live   to   God   and   please   him.   They   work   that they   may   fill   up   time,   and   fill   up   a   place   in   the   world, and   because   that   God,   who   made   and,   maintains   us, has   appointed   us   with   quietness   to   work   and   mind   our own business. 3.   We   must   receive   our   daily   comforts   from   him;   we must   wait   on   him   as   our   benefactor;   as   the   eyes   of   all things   wait   upon   him,   to   give   them   their   food   in   due season,   and   what   he   giveth   them,   that   they   gather.   To him   we   must   look,   as   to   our   father,   for   our   daily   bread, and   from   him   we   are   appointed   to   ask   it,   yea,   though we   have   it   in   the   house,   though   we   have   it   upon   the table;   we   must   wait   upon   him   for   a   covenant   right   to   it, for   leave   to   make   use   of   it,   for   a   blessing   upon   it,   for nourishment   by   it,   and   for   comfort   in   it.   It   is   in   the word   and   prayer   that   we   wait   on   God,   and   keep   up communion   with   him,   and   by   these   every   creature   of God    is    sanctified    to    us    (see    I    Tim.    4:4-5),    and    the property   of   it   is   altered.   To   the   pure   all   things   are   pure; they    have    them    from    the    covenant,    and    not    from common    providence;    which    makes    a    little    that    the righteous    man    has,    better    than    the    riches    of    many wicked, and much more valuable and comfortable. No   inducement   can   be   more   powerful   to   make   us   see to   it,   that   what   we   have   we   get   it   honestly,   and   use   it soberly,    and    give    God    his    due    out    of    it,    than    this consideration,   that   we   have   our   all   from   the   hand   of God,    and    are    entrusted    with    it    as    stewards,    and consequently   are   accountable.   If   we   have   this   thought as   a   golden   thread   running   through   all   the   comforts   of every   day,   these   are   God’s   gifts;   every   bit   we   eat,   and every   drop   we   drink,   is   his   mercy;   every   breath   we draw,   and   every   step   we   take,   is   his   mercy:   this   will keep   us   continually   waiting   upon   him,   as   the   donkey on   his   master’s   crib,   and   will   put   a   double   sweetness into    all    our    enjoyments.    God    will    have    his    mercies taken    fresh    from    his    compassions,    which    for    this reason     are     said     to     be     new     every     morning;     and therefore   it   is   not   once   a-week   that   we   are   to   wait   upon him,   as   people   go   to   market   to   buy   provisions   for   the whole   week,   but   we   must   wait   on   him   every   day,   and all   the   day,   as   those   that   live   from   hand   to   mouth,   and yet live very easy. 4.   We   must   resist   our   daily   temptations,   and