THE K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S favor, and ‘hit us squarely between the eyes.’ More than one wants Christ to be the center of all preaching.”
1190 FEELING THE LAYMAN’S PULSE The general manager of the Altoona Tribune read before the Ministers’ Asso ciation of that city a paper giving the results of his interviews with a hundred laymen more particularly respecting what they desired to hear from the pulpit. The Lutheran thus gives the substance of the answers he received: “They want the plain, unadulterated preaching of the Gospel, without the prevalent psychological or sensational effusions. “They want sermons that touch life as we find it to-day, and that strike home. “They want sermons in which Christ figures as the Redeemer to manifest the love of God and to inspire to holy living. They want His atoning work set forth as the only remedy for sin and the only hope of the sinner, and do not care for ‘smart sayings and spectacular performances in the pulpit.’ “They want sermons that will take them away from their worldly cares and worriments and bring them the cheer and consolations of the Gospel. ‘The shadow of the Cross is still more potent than all the new theologies about which some men rave.’ “They want a minister to take a text and ‘then stick to it,’ not turn away from it to roam ‘in a ten-acre field.’ They do not want him to ‘sugar-coat sin’ and make hell meaningless. They care little for sensational theories such as ‘How to be Happy though married.’ “ They want him to emphasize sins of omission as well as sins of commission. They believe that expository and doc trinal preaching should not altogether go out of fashion. One does not like ser mons with too many stories or illustra tions or legends. Another likes sermons on Scripture characters. Another sug gests that the preacher should acquaint himself enough with his people to know just what kind of message they most need. Another wants him to preach straight Biblical truth without fear or
THE GOAL OF PRAYER Prayer is not a meaningless function or duty to be crowded into the busy or the weary ends of the day, and we are not obeying our Lord's command when we content ourselves with a few min utes upon our knees in the morning rush or late at night when the faculties, tired with the tasks of the day, call out for rest. God is always within call, it is true; His ear is ever attentive to the cry of His child, but we can never get to know Him if we use the vehicle of prayer as we use the telephone— for a few words of hurried conversation. In timacy requires development. We can never know God as it is our privilege to know Him, by brief and fragmentary and unconsidered repetitions of inter cessions that are requests for personal favors and nothing more. That is not the way in which we can com» into communication with heaven’s King. “ The goal of prayer is the ear of God,” a goal that can only.be reached by pa tient and continued and continuous waiting upon Him, pouring out our hearts to Him and permitting Him to speak to us. DO YOU MEAN BUSINESS? “ Many a man prays for a baptism from above who would run if he saw it coming; and not a few of those who plead so eloquently that their lips may be touched with a coal from off the altar, would faint dead away if they saw an angel go for the tongs. Spiritual privi leges and power come at much cost, and few of us are really willing to pay the price.” .
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