Spirit: The Privilege of Prayer (1)
Through nature and revelation, through his providence and by the influence of his Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to him. In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with our Heavenly Father. Our minds may be drawn out toward him; we may meditate upon his works, his mercies, his blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with him. In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to him concerning our actual life.
Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary, in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to him. When Jesus was upon the earth, he taught his disciples how to pray. He directed them to present their daily needs before God, and to cast all their care upon him. And the assurance he gave them that their petitions should be heard, is assurance also to us.
Jesus himself, while he dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified himself with our needs and weaknesses, in that he became a suppliant, a petitioner, seeking from his Father fresh supplies of strength, that he might come forth braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, "in all points tempted like as we are;" but as the sinless one, his nature recoiled from evil; he endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and a privilege. He found comfort and joy in communion with his Father. And if the Saviour of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent, constant prayer.
Our Heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of his blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of his children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to God. What can the angels of heaven think of poor helpless human beings, who are subject to temptation, when God's heart of infinite love yearns toward them, ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little, and have so little faith?
The angels love to bow before God; they love to be near him. They regard communion with God as their highest joy; and yet the children of earth, who need so much the help that God only can give, seem satisfied to walk without the light of his Spirit, the companionship of his presence. The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching, we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy-seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation.
(source: © Ellen G White; From "Steps To Christ")
Collated Spirit Articles
Growing Up Into Christ (1).
The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life, air, sunshine, and food...more
Growing Up Into Christ (2).
A life in Christ is a life of restfulness...more
Knowledge of God.
Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make himself known to us and to bring us into communion with him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing...more
Growing Up Into Christ (3).
Constantly beholding him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:18)...more
Growing Up Into Christ (4).
They knew that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still...more
The Sinner's Need of Christ (1).
But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God...more
The Sinner's Need of Christ (2).
But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, "I am carnal, sold under sin...more
Repentance (1). It is only through Christ that we can be brought into harmony with God, with holiness; but how are we to come to Christ?...more
Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that his Spirit is moving upon our hearts...more
Repentance (3). One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct...more
Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed...more
The Privilege of Prayer (1).
Jesus himself, while he dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified himself with our needs and weaknesses...more
The Work And The Life (1).
The spirit of Christ's self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades heaven...more
The Work And The Life (2).
We are brought into sympathy with Christ through the fellowship of his sufferings...more
The Work And The Life (3).
We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ...more
Faith and Acceptance (1).
You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God...more
Faith and Acceptance (2).
Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought with a price...more
Faith and Acceptance (3).
But even this parable, tender and touching as it is, comes short of expressing the infinite compassion of the Heavenly Father...more
The Test of Discipleship (1).
Every burden is light; for the yoke that Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure...more
The Test of Discipleship (2).
When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new covenant promise is fulfilled...more
The Test of Discipleship (3).
If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled...more
The Test of Discipleship (4).
Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God...more
Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life...more
When sin has deadened the moral perceptions, the wrong-doer does not discern the defects of his character...more
What To Do With Doubt (1).
God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith...more
What To Do With Doubt (2).
There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them...more
"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)...more