Call upon God, adore, confess,
Petition, plead, and then declare
You are the Lord's; give thanks and bless,
And let the Amen confirm the prayer. ~Isaac Watts
The fifth item of prayer in this poem by Watts is “plead.” Watts explains pleading as “arguing our case with Him in a fervent yet humble manner.” We state a specific request and present arguments to God as to why He should grant such a thing. These arguments are appeals to God that are based upon His desires as communicated in His Word. Whatever the issue may be, we bring it before God and plead. We plead according to our desires, dangers, and sorrows.
In pleading to God, we can appeal to His nature and attributes. We ask for mercy because He is merciful. We ask for good things because He is good. We ask for grace because He is gracious, and so on.
We can appeal to God according to our relationship with Him. We can claim Him as our Father and ask Him to give what is good to His children. We can claim Him as Creator and ask Him to sustain us. We can claim Him as king to protect us from His enemies who live in His domain.
We can appeal to God according to His name and honor. When great things take place that direct people’s attention to Him and His power, His name and honor are magnified. We should pray that God would save the lost, work through us, and do that which makes Him amazing in the eyes of all.
We can appeal to God according to how He has worked in the lives of His people in the past. When we go through trials, we can appeal to how God has delivered others in the past as David did long ago: “In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame” (Ps 22:4–5). We should also remember that deliverance may not be the removal of a trial but the grace to sustain its difficulty.
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.