Havergal: Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace


The following is taken from The Royal Invitation, a new online devotional available at the BLB. The Royal Invitation is one of five books contained in a collection written by Frances Ridley Havergal in the 1880s. This book embraces the many requests from God’s word for us to ‘come’ to Him. (Click here for previous posts)

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:16)

“Therefore!” because we have “such an High Priest,” touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and in all points tempted like as we are (Hbr 4:14-15); because He is “a Priest upon His throne,” ever living, with His royal power to save to the uttermost, and His priestly power to make intercession: “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Hbr 4:16).

Boldness and faith go together; fear and unbelief go together.

“If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established” (Isa 7:9). It is always want of faith that is at the bottom of all fear. “Why are ye fearful?” is the question for those “of little faith” (Mat 8:26). So, in order to come boldly, and therefore joyfully, all we need is more faith in the Great High Priest who sits upon the throne of grace.

Faith is a gift from God.

Now, do not sigh, “Ah, I wish I had more faith!” It will not come to you by languid lamentations about your want of faith (Eph 2:8). “It is the gift of God.” And if thou knewest this gift of God, and who it is that only waits to be inquired of, that He may give it thee, surely thou wouldst ask of Him! For He giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, not even with all your neglect of Him and His gifts.

Just ask! and He says, “It shall be given you.” (Mat 7:7) “Ye have not, because ye ask not.”

And let the least glimmer of dawning faith in your heart lead you to go on asking, and to pray continually, “Lord, increase our faith.” (Luk 17:5) Then you will be able to come boldly; for “in Christ Jesus our Lord…we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.”

People do not come for what they do not want.

Until the Holy Spirit shows us our need of mercy, and puts reality into the Litany prayer, “Have mercy upon us miserable sinners,” we shall never come to the throne of grace to obtain mercy.

“He that into God’s kingdom comes,
Must enter by this door.”

So, if you have never yet felt that you could sincerely say, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (or, as the Greek has it more emphatically, “to me, the sinner”), (Luk 18:13) and therefore have never yet felt particularly anxious to come to the throne of grace to obtain it, I would urgently entreat you to pray, “Lord, show me myself!” When the Holy Spirit answers that prayer, you will be eager (Luk 10:42) enough to come and obtain mercy. It will be the one thing then that you will be particularly anxious about.

Obtaining mercy comes first; then finding grace to help in time of need.

You cannot reverse God’s order. You will not find grace to help in time of need till you have sought and found mercy to save. You have no right to reckon on God’s help and protection and guidance, and all the other splendid privileges which He promises to “the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal 3:26), until you have this first blessing, the mercy of God in Christ Jesus; for it is “in” Jesus Christ that all the promises of God are yea, and Amen. But He is “rich in mercy,” and “delighteth in mercy.” All who have come to the throne of grace for it, “are now the people of God, which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” And then no less surely will they, and do they, “find grace to help in every time of need.”

“Let us therefore come boldly!”

Behold the throne of grace!
The promise calls me near:
There Jesus shows a smiling face,
And waits to answer prayer.
My soul, ask what thou wilt,
Thou canst not be too bold:
Since His own blood for thee He spilt,
What else can He withhold?
—John Newton


Previous posts:

  • Mark Hayes

    Hallelujah Chris

    A timely word.

    The Lord Jesus was smitten for me. He bled for me. He brings me into the most Holy Place by His blood. He did this once for all having obtained my eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:12

    Though I live amongst a perverse generation, I just need to come & look. By His power, the power of God, I am kept.

    In Christ
    Mark H NZ

    • Tess

      AMEN Mark! Wonderful post Chris. Thank you! 🙂

  • Bob Demyanovich

    Mat 5:17-48, Luk 6:27-33 The referenced statements are biblically attributed to Jesus. Jesus speaks non violence, His manner is non violent with the single exception of overturning the money changers tables. Jhn 2:14-15 Jesus drove them from the temple with a whip of small cords yet there is no indication that they were physically injured. Culturally, Jesus would be expected to avenge His cousin’s beheading. Jesus answered the heinous act with the sermon on the mount. Identification as The Lamb is no accident. The gentleness of a lamb is recognized throughout the generations that have inhabited this world. The identity in Rev 22 is the culmination of all ritual animal sacrifice. What remains is choice for whosoever will. The resurrection, the keys to death and hell allow this choice.

    Gen 9:6 Human, (Adam) Gen 5:2 was not offered in ritual sacrifice because they are made in the image of God. The substitute was animal flesh and confirmed with Abraham and Isaac. Jesus Who knew no sin became sin for us in the only instance of the sacrifice of human flesh in substitution and propitiation. The glory of God is the Lamb. Rev 21:23 and Rev 22

    • Tess

      What’s your understanding of the meaning of Luke 22:35-38?

      • Bob Demyanovich

        Jesus halted swordplay and healed the servant of the high priest. His purpose was not to wield the sword but to identify transgressors. The swords are symbolic. Jesus reminded the disciples that without provision still they lacked nothing before advising them to sell what they had to buy swords. Even though His disciples were armed, they were insufficient to stay the will of God. Peter was not yet converted. This was an introduction to a vitally important lesson. Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit saith the Lord of hosts. Zec 4:6

        • Tess

          Wow! There is a great study in this! Zerubbabel, the two branches, the signet ring, how the disciples being sent out and how Zec 4 ties into that. AMAZING!

          WOW! PaRDeS

          I’m so glad I asked a simple question. There’s buckets full of diamonds in this field to pick up, study and put in my spiritual basket!!!!

  • Jim

    …..So, in order to come boldly, and therefore joyfully, all we need is more faith ( more believing ) in the Great High Priest who sits upon the throne of grace.

    How do we do this?
    *Build our Believing,
    *Be more confident in our speak
    *Be more Bold, after all we don’t start out that way,
    *Having the same mind-set as Jesus Christ did,
    *How did he do it?
    *How did he go to the Word of God, what was his attitude?
    *What was his method, how did he rightly-divide
    *Did he have an ego?
    *Was he coachable?

    Studying the Word of God the way he did, understanding the Word of God like he did, practicing the Word of God like he did, thinking the Word of God like he did, making it a life-style like he did,

    Ok, so how did he do it?

    Well, where was he at 12 years old, learning from the Doctors and understanding them and they were amazed.

    How did he get to that point at 12? Wow–he had to study and grow in the Word–the Word that was available at that time. Remember he was still under the law at this time, learning all the laws and manners of customs, orientaliziums, and etc.

    God had His plan in order and little Jesus soak it all in, when God would make a way for him to learn, remember it was Jesus’ “freedom of Will” to want to learn, God just set him up for success.

    I think God will do the same for us, If you want to learn, He will make a way, if not, well have fun with your ego.

    Ego will block you from learning more, why? Well if you’ve been taught all your life 4+4=9 and have an ego at the same time, how can you come to the truth?

    Study God’s Word and see it for yourself instead of going by what everyone else says, Jesus did it that way. What would have happened if he listened to the upper leadership? What about the saduuuusseeees, the phaaarrraasseees, how far would he have gone then?

    Doesn’t this sound similar? Today there are some many people and believers hacking up the Word of God and therefore there’s people and believers that are so confused on what the Word of God really says. When are we going to stop hacking up the Word of God and start reading for what IT says instead of what I,I,I think IT says?

    We bring our thinking to the Word, NOT the Word to our thinking.

    You really have to think about this one, open the Word of God with the attitude of learning what it says, not what you think it says, this is how Jesus Christ did it, did he not.

    For example: Eli Eli… when he said this in a different language while being on the tree or cross, what does it mean? The real meaning, has anyone really got down to the greatest common denominator in what it really means?

    Most people will say,” …”My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me.”

    Some greek scholars will say, …”My God, My God, for this reason I was spared”

    Now which one makes more sense? Context wise, his life wise, the future with us wise ? The second one doesn’t it. It makes total sense, and everything lines up.

    What kind of God would forsake you? Not my kind of God. But now after great study, I see the truth. But wait a second, I’ve been taught the other way my whole life, what’s the deal?

    See when you go to the Word of God, with the method of learning what it is says to you, not what you think it says. The Word of God interprets itself, we don’t have to do it.

    Anyway my thoughts,
    I’ll try to get back to see any responses,


    • Tess

      I would disagree with your first sentence Jim. Faith is a gift from God not something man can determine himself to have. Romans 12:3,

      Ephesians 2:8 states that we are saved THROUGH faith not because of OUR faith.

      My point being, salvation is GOD’s work IN you not your dogged determination to grab hold of. It is more a matter of receiving, accepting seeking and obeying God then it is believing and your self determination. James 2:19

      It is not human determination to have faith that saves us. It is a humble contrite heart. The heart that says as Jesus did. Not my will but Thine be done. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Master He gives us a new heart and writes His laws upon that new heart. We yield to the Holy Spirit all that we are. Philippians 2:5-9

      Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
      Hearts of stone cannot be engraved upon by God.

    • Tess

      ??? God had His plan in order and little Jesus soak it all in, when God would make a way for him to learn, remember it was Jesus’ “freedom of Will” to want to learn, God just set him up for success.
      God doesn’t set us up for success Jim. Jesus did not use His free will. Jesus IS God and He yielded to the Father’s will not His own.

      • Tess

        Jesus yielded to His own purpose and plan before the beginning of time and accomplished what man could not. He is God incarnate. God came down and became man in order to make a way to redeem man and in doing so paid in full the penalty of sin and He purchased those who will yield and make Him their Lord and Savior.

        We aren’t set up for our success. We are yielded for His glory. Our free will is our choice to reject or accept Him.

        We are not to go witness but to BE a witness. It is not a plan for success for us. It is God’s redemptive work and to HIS glory.

        If I determine that I am going to be a successful Christian where is the yielding in that?

      • Jim

        So Jesus doesn’t have a freedom of Will–wow. How you figure?

        • Tess

          Where did I say that?

          • Tess

            John 7:16-19

          • Jim

            You said–“God doesn’t set us up for success Jim. Jesus did not use His free will. Jesus IS God and He yielded to the Father’s will not His own.”

            If he didn’t use his freedom of Will what did he use? Were always using our freedom of will 100% of the time, unless if you think God possesses which a lot of people do.


            my misunderstanding, please explain

        • Jerry S.

          Mat 26:42 HNV

          Jim, the physical, the spiritual and whatever realms there may be unknown to man quake when these verses are uttered. We should too.

          When we view our salvation through a filter of me, myself and I, a view that I often pick up in what you write, we will miss the majesty of HIS name and all HE freely gives. We can settle for less than all if we want, but either way, HE suffered as man because of the “joy set before HIM”. That full unending joy will come, but at a time we will experience, only because of the BLOOD shed, on the other side of death.

          Try not to live according to how circumstances will affect me, myself, I. Will (give) your will to the WILL of the FATHER, come what may, “never the less, thy will be done”. Yeshua prayed this for all the FATHER gave to HIM.


          • Jim

            You mean like in Act, Ananias went his way, which was God’s way, so therefore Ananias made God’s Will his Will.


          • Jerry S.

            Okay Jim, I’ll get on the Merry-Go-Round with you another time here. I say that because you’re an intelligent guy and I believe you do know better coming from the arguments you put up and that there is something that the LORD wants to do here. HIS door is there for us to knock on and walk through and it’s between you and HIM, not you and me or anyone on this site.

            Act 5:1-11 HNV, Hananyah and his wife were not yielding to the “Ruach HaKodesh” from three chapters prior. The event from that chapter was the fulfilling of Jer 31:31-34 HNV, something I spoke of in another comment of mine to you. Hananyah and his wife would not be a good example to argue against “willing our will to HIS will”. They did not and they exist in scripture as an example for all to see whether we learn from them or not.

            Let me ask you this, because of the scripture passage you chose here. Does it upset you that the “lake of fire”, Rev 19:20 HNV, Rev 20:10 HNV, Rev 20:14 HNV, Rev 20:15 HNV exists and you think it shouldn’t?


        • Tess

          5/28/13 Jim this may help.

  • Tess

    John 17

    • Bob Demyanovich

      Jhn 12:27, Phl 2:8

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  • Tim

    A very encouraging and much needed article.