Ellen G. White
In order to strengthen
our confidence in God, Christ teaches us to address Him by a
new name, a name entwined with the dearest associations of the
human heart. He gives us the privilege of calling the infinite
God our Father. This name, spoken to Him and of Him, is a sign
of our love and trust toward Him, and a pledge of His regard
and relationship to us. Spoken when asking His favor or blessing,
it is as music in His ears. That we might not think it presumption
to call Him by this name, He has repeated it again and again.
He desires us to become familiar with the appellation.
God regards us as
His children. He has redeemed us out of the careless world and
has chosen us to become members of the royal family, sons and
daughters of the heavenly King. He invites us to trust in Him
with a trust deeper and stronger than that of a child in his
earthly father. Parents love their children, but the love of
God is larger, broader, deeper, than human love can possibly
be. It is immeasurable. Then if earthly parents know how to
give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our Father
in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?
in regard to prayer should be carefully considered. There is
a divine science in prayer, and His illustration brings to view
principles that all need to understand. He shows what is the
true spirit of prayer, He teaches the necessity of perseverance
in presenting our requests to God, and assures us of His willingness
to hear and answer prayer.
Our prayers are not
to be a selfish asking, merely for our own benefit. We are to
ask that we may give. The principle of Christ's life must be
the principle of our lives. "For their sakes," He
said, speaking of His disciples, "I sanctify Myself, that
they also might be sanctified." John 17:19. The same devotion,
the same self-sacrifice, the same subjection to the claims of
the word of God, that were manifest in Christ, must be seen
in His servants. Our mission to the world is not to serve or
please ourselves; we are to glorify God by co-operating with
Him to save sinners. We are to ask blessings from God that we
may communicate to others. The capacity for receiving is preserved
only by imparting. We cannot continue to receive heavenly treasure
without communicating to those around us.
In the parable [of
Luke 11:5-8] the petitioner was again and again repulsed, but
he did not relinquish his purpose. So our prayers do not always
seem to receive an immediate answer; but Christ teaches that
we should not cease to pray. Prayer is not to work any change
in God; it is to bring us into harmony with God. When we make
request of Him, He may see that it is necessary for us to search
our hearts and repent of sin. Therefore He takes us through
test and trial, He brings us through humiliation, that we may
see what hinders the working of His Holy Spirit through us.
. . .
Our prayers are to be as earnest and persistent as was the petition
of the needy friend who asked for the loaves at midnight. The
more earnestly and steadfastly we ask, the closer will be our
spiritual union with Christ. We shall receive increased blessings
because we have increased faith.
Our part is to pray
and believe. Watch unto prayer. Watch, and co-operate with the
prayer-hearing God. Bear in mind that "we are labourers
together with God." 1 Cor. 3:9. Speak and act in harmony
with your prayers. It will make an infinite difference with
you whether trial shall prove your faith to be genuine, or show
that your prayers are only a form. . . .
You need not go to
the ends of the earth for wisdom, for God is near. It is not
the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will
give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you.
We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far
more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul.
He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have
you expect great things from Him. He longs to give you understanding
in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. He can sharpen
the intellect. He can give tact and skill. Put your talents
into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you.
Take the word of
Christ as your assurance. Has He not invited you to come unto
Him? Never allow yourself to talk in a hopeless, discouraged
way. If you do you will lose much. By looking at appearances
and complaining when difficulties and pressure come, you give
evidence of a sickly, enfeebled faith. Talk and act as if your
faith was invincible. The Lord is rich in resources; He owns
the world. Look heavenward in faith. Look to Him who has light
and power and efficiency.
Object Lessons, pp. 141-147.