Then shall ye call upon
me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall
seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jer.
There are two kinds of prayer--the prayer
of form and the prayer of faith. The repetition of set, customary phrases when
the heart feels no need of God, is formal prayer. . . . We should be extremely
careful in all our prayers to speak the wants of the heart and to say only what
we mean. All the flowery words at our command are not equivalent to one holy
desire. The most eloquent prayers are but vain repetitions if they do not
express the true sentiments of the heart. But the prayer that comes from an
earnest heart, when the simple wants of the soul are expressed just as we would
ask an earthly friend for a favor, expecting that it would be granted--this is
the prayer of faith. The publican who went up to the temple to pray is a good
example of a sincere, devoted worshiper. He felt that he was a sinner, and his
great need led to an outburst of passionate desire, "God be merciful to me
a sinner." . . . .
After we have offered our petitions, we
are to answer them ourselves as far as possible, and not wait for God to do for
us what we can do for ourselves. The help of God is held in reserve for all who
demand it. Divine help is to be combined with human effort, aspiration, and
energy. But we cannot reach the battlements of heaven without climbing for
ourselves. We cannot be borne up by the prayers of others when we ourselves
neglect to pray; for God has made no such provision for us. . . . The unlovely
traits in our characters are not removed, and replaced by traits that are pure
and lovely, without some effort on our part. . . .
In our efforts to follow the copy set us
by our Lord, we shall make crooked lines. . . . Yet let us not cease our efforts.
. . . Temporary failure should make us lean more heavily on Christ.
From My Life Today - Page 23