The John Trapp Blog

Trapp will be most valuable to men of discernment (Spurgeon). I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. (1Cor. 10:15)



On Prayer

1John 5:15 We have the petitions that we desired of him.

If we can perceive and discern that God listeneth, the thing is done.

  1. Now the former we may find, first, by a cast of God’s countenance, by a smile of his face, #Ps 22:24 34:15, for a godly man is admitted to see as well as speak; like a good angel, he is ever looking on the face of God; and can gather by that how he shall speed in his suit.

Continue reading “On Prayer”

Not gifts, but graces in prayer move the Lord

Matthew 23:14 Make long prayers…

God takes not men’s prayers by tale, but by weight.

  • He respecteth not the arithmetic of our prayers, how many they are;
  • nor the rhetoric of our prayers, how eloquent they are;
  • nor the geometry of our prayers, how long they are;
  • nor the music of our prayers, the sweetness of our voice,
  • nor the logic of our prayers, or the method of them,

but the divinity of our prayers is that which he so much esteemeth.

He looketh not for any James with horny knees through assiduity in prayer; nor for any Bartholomew with a century of prayers for the morning and as many for the evening, but St Paul, his frequency of praying with fervency of spirit, without all tedious length and vain babblings, this is it that God maketh most account of.

It is not a servant’s going to and fro, but the despatch of his business that pleaseth his master.

It is not the loudness of a preacher’s voice, but the holiness of the matter and the spirit of the preacher, that moveth a wise and intelligent hearer.

So here, not gifts, but graces in prayer move the Lord. But these long prayers of the Pharisees were so much the worse, because thereby they sought to entitle God to their sin, yea, they merely mocked him, fleering {a} in his face.

Babble not, bubble not

Matthew 6, Ver. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions.

Babble not, bubble not, saith the Syriac, as water out of a narrow mouthed vessel.

Do not iterate or inculcate the same things odiously et ad nauseam, as Solomon’s fool, who is full af words (saith he); and this custom of his expressed μιμητικως, in his vain tautologies. “A man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell?” #Ec 10:14.

Such a one also was that Battus (to whom the Evangelist here hath relation), an egregious babbler.

In common discourse it is a sign of weakness to lay on more words upon a matter than needs must: how much more in prayer!

Take we heed we offer not the sacrifice of fools; God hath no need of such, #1Sa 21:15 cf. Ps 5:5. Continue reading “Babble not, bubble not”

Whom they so seldom come at

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:6)

A very grave divine writeth thus: I cannot but prefer faithful prayers for some temporal mercy far before that mercy for which I pray. Yea, I had rather God should give me the gift of prayer than (without that gift) the whole world besides.

As for those that are ita congregabiles (saith another divine of good note), so very good fellows that they cannot spare so much time out of company as to seek God apart and to serve him in secret, they sufficiently show themselves thereby to have little fellowship or friendship with God, whom they so seldom come at.

Prayer of stammering lips

Albeit God’s weaker children cannot utter their mind unto him in well couched words and variety of expressions, yet, if their broken language come from a broken heart, it avails more than affectation of rhetoric, without affection of prayer. Men are better pleased with the stammering and lisping of their own little ones than with all the plain speech of all the children in the town besides. Yea, because the soul is sick, the service is twice welcome.

Hindered prayers

And restrainest prayer before God. (Job 15:4)

Thou forbearest to pray thyself, and thou discouragest others.

If this had been true it had been a foul fault indeed,

for while prayer standeth still, the whole trade of godliness standeth still likewise;

and to cast off prayer is to cast off God, “Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.” Jer 10:25.

We must take heed of falling from the affections of prayer, though we continue doing the duty. As vessels of wine, when first tapped, are very smart and quick, but at last grow exceedingly flat; so do many Christians, through unbelief, and worldly cares and businesses, or domestic discords, or some other distempers, whereby prayers are hindered, #1Pe 3:7;

either they pray not frequently, or not fervently, but in a customary, formal, dull way. And this Eliphaz might suspect Job of, and assign it as the cause of all his miscarriages in word and deed. Sure it is that, as sleep composeth drunkenness, so doth prayer the affections; a man may pray himself sober again, as a reverend man (Dr Preston) gathereth out of this text.

That chancellor of heaven

Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. Jer. 15:1

Though Moses… That chancellor of heaven, as one calleth him; who not only “ruled with God,” but overruled. Continue reading “That chancellor of heaven”

Neglect of family prayer uncovers the roof for God’s curse to be rained down

Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name, Jer. 10: Ver. 25.

Pour out, &c. This is not more votum, than vaticinium; a prayer, than a prophecy.

And upon the families… Neglect of family prayer uncovers the roof, as it were, for God’s curse to be rained down upon men’s tables, meals, enterprises, &c.


The painting: Aertsen The Egg Dance, 1557, oil on panel, Rijksmuseum at Am

A high point of heavenly wisdom

O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? Jeremiah 14:8.

O the Hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof.

In prayer, to pitch upon such of God’s attributes as wherein we may see an answer, is a high point of heavenly wisdom. Continue reading “A high point of heavenly wisdom”

Up ↑