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What is Prayer

What is Prayer

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Mark 6 : 31 — Aod He eaid unto them, Come ;e jourselves apart into a
desert place and rest awhile, for there were manj coming and. goicg, and
the; had no leisure so mucb a^ to eat.

Mark 6 : 31 — Aod He eaid unto them, Come ;e jourselves apart into a
desert place and rest awhile, for there were manj coming and. goicg, and
the; had no leisure so mucb a^ to eat.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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WHAT IS PRAYER?BY REV. OCTAVIUS PERICHIEFMark 6 : 31 — Aod He eaid unto them, Come ;e jourselves apart into adesert place and rest awhile, for there were manj coming and. goicg, andthe; had no leisure so mucb a^ to eat.Christ had sent his disciples out to preach the Word.Having fulfilled that special mission, they gather them-selves home to Him again, and tell Him all things, bothwhat they had done and what they had taught, and hesaid unto them, " Come ye yourselves apart into a desertplace and rest awhile, for there were many coming andd by Googlegoing, and they had no leisure so much as to eat."Having departed, however, the multitude follows them,and in the wilderness Christ performs the miracle of feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fishes.He dismissed His disciples to cross over to the otherside of the sea. He sends away the multitudes andbetakes himself to a mountain to fray. In the midst of the night, while His disciples are toiling — contendingwith winds and waves — He appears to them, and enter-ing into the ship with them, He stills the elements andgoes with them safely to the shore.This whole passage is impressive and peculiarly in-structive. Man is an active, restless being ; he has of necessity much work to do, but he makes by far thelarger portion of his work for himself. He forgets hehas a soul as well as a body ; he absorbs his time andenergy in the aifairs of the flesh; he leaves his soulpinched and starved. In this forgetfulness he createsfor himself his severest conflict — makes the elements of his being antagonistic. When he has made a paradisefor his body, that becomes a desert for his soul, and
what is a desert for his body, is often the paradise of his spirit. One of the offices of religion through allages has been to equalize the claims of body and soul — to place man in harmony with his true being, and putan end to our strifes by putting an end to their causes.Even in its religious matters the world has often beena little super-reHgious. In its blindness it has laid uponitself many a necessity God would willingly have sparedit. Because of our lame and helpless condition, religionwhich would otherwise have been the life of all work,has been only itself an additional work in life. Theabsence of religion in many men, and the ad by GoogleWHAT IS PRATER? 69of it in all, makes it tlie duty of some to find out whatreligion is, to keep it alive, to extend it — makes theChurch a necessity — introduces an agency, the respon-sible duties of which, are as arduous as any that can belaid upon frail humanity. The Apostles had no leisure.They pressed their mission with ardor. Christ saw theyhad need of a resting place. He said to them : " Comeye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest awhile."The Master had to tell them to do it. Though theywere engaged in a religious work, there was danger of their making it just as much a work — of running throughit — absorbed in it — neglecting the wise and proper cul-ture of their souls, as the men did for whom they werelaboring. This has always been man's danger, of secu-larizing even religion. It was needful their souls shouldbe fed, their spirits should drink in, the rich and deepthings of God. He had something precious to impartto them when they were in the desert, something nocity could give, the precious knowledge, that to be withHim was to have all thej* couJd desire — to have Godfor their friend. They wanted the still, small voice — •not the whirlwind nor the storm."What those Apostles needed is just what the wholeChurch has needed, what all men need, the turning
aside from the heavy, pressing cares of life — the self-imposed and time-imposed burdens — the jostlings, vex-ations, strivings of the world, to be alone with God ;to lift the soul up to higher altitudes and clearer reveal-ings ; to let the soul define herself, her capacities, andher longings. Like those Apostles, the Church of Godneeds it for a two-fold end — needs it for personal edifi-cation and for universal benefit. How can the blindlead the blind ? How can the Church tell men of Godd by Google70 SERMOS.and heaven, if she knows not God nor heavenly things ?It was not simply to rest their bodies, that Christ took the disciples aside. It was rest, as all rest should be,improvement. It was rest, as rest in heaven will be,learning of God. Come ye yourselves apart; I havesomething to tell yon; I have food for you, and food foryou to give others. Amid the din and excitements of life, this is the one thing we need. Perhaps it is be-cause we are so little and so seldom apart with ourselvesand Christ, that life presses upon us so heavily. It is,after all, the strength from within, with which we bearup the burdens from without, and if that strength fromany cause be wanting, life is only bewilderment and un-rest. God has mercifully appointed Sabbath-days, one-seventh of our time, in which specially to feed on divineand eternal things. Christ calls us apart, to be withHim and with God and ourselves. Great blessings arethese Sabbaths, if we so spend them, not letting thework of religion infringe upon this real purpose of soulcommunion. And yet, God would not limit us in thispurpose to Sabbath days. He would have us often apartby ourselves, and perhaps one reason why the Church-in her aggregate, with all her machinery and doctrines,is not more efficient, is that the Church, in her individ-uals, is not more frequently and closely in direct andfar-reaching communion with God. I wish, therefore,this morning to direct your attention to a few thoughtsupon the subject of prayer.

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