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PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.pdf

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY J. R. MILLER


BUT how can we pray with-
out ceasing? Are we to
spend all our time on our
knees? This certainly is
not the meaning. We have
our work to do. We are
set in our places in this world to toil. A little
bit of garden is given every one of us to tend
and keep. Our duties fill our hands every hour.
We sin when we neglect any allotted task.
We can conceive of praying that would be
wrong — spraying, when some imperative duty
is calling us out, kneeling in our closet in
devotion, when some distress needs our help
outside. When a sick child requires a mother's
care and devotion some Sunday morning, she
would not please God if she left her child and
went to a church service. When a physician is
needed at a sufferer's bedside, he would not
please God by leaving his place to attend a
communion service.
BY J. R. MILLER


BUT how can we pray with-
out ceasing? Are we to
spend all our time on our
knees? This certainly is
not the meaning. We have
our work to do. We are
set in our places in this world to toil. A little
bit of garden is given every one of us to tend
and keep. Our duties fill our hands every hour.
We sin when we neglect any allotted task.
We can conceive of praying that would be
wrong — spraying, when some imperative duty
is calling us out, kneeling in our closet in
devotion, when some distress needs our help
outside. When a sick child requires a mother's
care and devotion some Sunday morning, she
would not please God if she left her child and
went to a church service. When a physician is
needed at a sufferer's bedside, he would not
please God by leaving his place to attend a
communion service.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 29, 2013
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PRAY WITHOUT CEASINGBY J. R. MILLER BUT how can we pray with-out ceasing? Are we tospend all our time on ourknees? This certainly isnot the meaning. We haveour work to do. We areset in our places in this world to toil. A littlebit of garden is given every one of us to tendand keep. Our duties fill our hands every hour.We sin when we neglect any allotted task.We can conceive of praying that would bewrong — spraying, when some imperative dutyis calling us out, kneeling in our closet indevotion, when some distress needs our helpoutside. When a sick child requires a mother'scare and devotion some Sunday morning, shewould not please God if she left her child andwent to a church service. When a physician isneeded at a sufferer's bedside, he would notplease God by leaving his place to attend acommunion service.[251]It is told in old monastic legends of St.Francesca, that while she was unfailing inher religious duties, never wearying in herdevotions, yet if in her time of prayer shewas summoned away by any pressing domes-tic service, she would close her book cheer-fully, saying that a wife and mother, whenneeded for any duty of love, must quit herGod at the altar to find him in tasks and
 
services requiring her in her home. So thereare times when prayer is not the duty of thehour.What then are we to understand by the coun-sel, to pray without ceasing? For one thingwe know that prayer is part of the expres-sion of the Christian's very life. One whodoes not pray is not a Christian. We areGod's children, and if we always keep our-selves in the relation of children to our Fa-ther, loving, obedient, trustful, submissiveto his will, we shall pray without ceasing. Ourcommunion with him never will be broken.That was the way Jesus lived. He was notalways on his knees. His days were filled with[«52]l^rafftiQ ^it^out Ceasingintense activities. Often he had not time toeat or to sleep. Yet there was never an in-stant of interruption of his fellowship withhis Father. He was in communion with himeven in his busiest hours. And he would haveus live in the same way. We shall then prayat our work. Our heart will be in communionwith Christ even when our hands are engagedin the day's duties. One writes,"The busy fingers fly; the eyes may seeOnly the glancing needle which they hold;Bvt all my life is blossoming inwardly,And every breath is like a litany;While through each labor , like a thread of gold,Is %voven the sweet consciousness of Thee,''
 
To pray without ceasing is to do everythingwith prayer. This does not mean that everyseparate piece of work we undertake shall bebegun with a formal act of prayer, stopping,kneeling, and offering a petition in words.This would be a physical impossibility. Butwe may keep our heart always in converse[ 253 ]for t^e 'hm Ci^fng^with God, never out of tune with him. Wemay live so near to God that we can talk with him wherever we are, ask him questionsand get answers, seek his wisdom in all per-plexities and his help in all experiences, andhave his direction and guidance at every turn.We like to go to some human friend in tirhoselove and wisdom we have confidence and talk over matters that are causing us anxiety, orabout which we are uncertain. We sit downwith our friend and consider the case andget advice, at least get light. Have you everthought that you can do just this with JesusChrist? You cannot see him and cannot hearhis voice, but he is as really with you as wasthe human friend with whom you took coun-sel yesterday. He listens to every word yousay, as you falteringly tell him of your diffi-culties, your perplexities, your fears, and asyou ask him what you ought to do. He isinterested in all the things on which you de-sire light and wisdom. Nothing in your lifeis too small for him to talk over with youon his busiest day.[«54]

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