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one and without apology turn to others, and to do this to God or to Jesus is even worse, yes, it is shameful. When conviction on this point came to our own soul it revolutionized our praying and our prayer life, but it caused many a pang as we have listened to some o f God’s best workers wandering in their praying, and this failure of so many has become a burden that has set this message burning deep in our soul, and is the cause o f this article. To pray aright requires first of all, a real sense o f thè Person and Presence of God. Given this, and any one can talk to God as easily, yes, more easily than to a dear friend, and one’s language will not wander from its direct address to God. This type of prayer brings God so near that one easily loses all sense o f the presence of an audience or o f those uniting with us in the prayer and makes so real the pres ence o f God that the soul is flooded by the realization. F a ilu r e to R ecognize G od We are sure that failure to recognize God thus' is SIN, which He may overlook or forgive in His mercy, but which must hurt Him even as it is an insult to Him. These are strong words, but we make no apology for them as we are sure they are sorely, needed. W e who pray in public have no right to be careless o f our manner o f speech while . addressing God. It is not our thought that prayer .should never be addressed to Jesus, for He has promised to be with us daily and the naming of His name in'prayer between the temptation and the yielding to it will surely prevent the yielding and give fullest victory; but, Jesus said we should pray to the Father, in His name, “ for the Father Him self loveth you.” To pray in the name o f Jesus, however, means more than to close our prayer with the statement “ W e ask it in the name o f our Lord Jesus Christ,” for it carries with it the presumption o f the approval o f Jesus to our request. We are in need o f great care as we use the name of Jesus, that we ask only what we are sure He would approve of our asking, or else that we very carefully insert an acknowledgment o f our submission to God’s will as a part of our request. T h e H oly S p ir it and P rayer It is because o f our lack of knowledge o f how to pray (Rom . 8:26, 27 ), that the Holy Spirit is here to translate and transform our prayers until they are in accord with the Divine purpose for us in Christ Jesus. It is evident that God will be glad to so attune our spiritual understanding to His revealed will that more and more we will.be led to pray according to the Spirit and to the end that God will be able to bless and answer more largely than ever the petitions o f our hearts. It must also be evident that such care as is set forth in this article in the manner o f our approach to God must o f necessity enable the -Holy Spirit to make God more real to us and His ■ presence more precious and will help God make His will known to us more readily. A realization o f this several years ago was the founda tion o f new experience in prayer, new assurances of God as our ever-present Father, greater sense o f the worth of Jesus and His sacrifice, and a joyful appreciation of the presence and aid o f the Holy Spirit. To be shut away, even in a crowded church, with the blessed Trinity while praying, is an experience worth all it will cost of concen tration and thought. So great is the glorious reality o f it
that in quoting God’s Word to Him one must even change it to fit properly in its address as in John 3 :16 : “ For Thou didst so love the world that Thou didst give Thine only begotten Son” ; and as in Rom. 5 :8 : “ but hast commended Thy love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us,” and again Heb. 13 :5 : “ Thou hast said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee!” This rule carried out in every case makes very real the fact that we are TALK ING TO GOD, and is a glorious truth, wonderful in its helpfulness and in its reaction on our soul life, refreshing the soul as a very breath of God from heaven. God keep us from ever insulting Him again! And may God help us to P R A Y :— To the Father Through the Son By the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Copyright by the author)
Why hast Thou crushed me, Lord, Unless for some sweet purpose of Thine own? Has pride so filled my envious heart, That only sternness can he shown? Nay, rather may I dare to feel That ’neath the shell lies perfume rare,
Which only bruising can reveal And scatter forth upon the air? If such be so, then will I yield This stubborn heart to every blow, Nor raise a hand to thwart or shield From what Thou dost in love bestow.
Yea, Lord, I know Thy love so true Would’st mold and shape me in Thy grace, That from love’s furnace, pure and new, The dross from out the gold Thou may’st efface. Then give me strength, beneath Thy hand, To suffer, Lord, and yet be still; To know Thee near; e’en when in pain, To know that love alone is in Thy will. If perfume in my soul there be That comfort could to others bring, Whate’er it takes to set it free, I’ll suffer, Lord, and through it sing.
Thy precious peace can come in pain, That peace alone my heart doth crave: Forever in my heart abide and reign, Held by Thy love, I am Thy slave.
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