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TEACH US TO PRAY

TEACH US TO PRAY

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLIAM BURNET WRIGHT




And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites ;
for they love to stand and pray in the synagogue and in
the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you they have received their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner
chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father
which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret
shall recompense thee. And in praying use not vain rep-
etitions as the Gentiles do, for they think that they shall
be heard for their much speaking. — Matt. vi. 5-7.
BY WILLIAM BURNET WRIGHT




And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites ;
for they love to stand and pray in the synagogue and in
the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you they have received their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner
chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father
which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret
shall recompense thee. And in praying use not vain rep-
etitions as the Gentiles do, for they think that they shall
be heard for their much speaking. — Matt. vi. 5-7.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 10, 2014
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 TEACH US TO PRAY. BY WILLIAM BURET WRIGHT And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites ; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogue and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you they have received their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall recompense thee. And in praying use not vain rep- etitions as the Gentiles do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. — Matt. vi. 5-7. (R. V.) It is the beginning of the week of prayer. In place of the programme offered by the Evangelical Alliance, we have assigned for the subject of each day one of the seven pe- titions in our Lord's Prayer. Selections of Scripture calculated either to explain the meaning or hold the mind to contemplation of the subject of each petition are named upon the cards handed you this morning. By keeping our thoughts resolutely for an entire day upon each of these objects of de- sire it is hoped that we shall learn to obey in TEACH US TO PRAY. 33 some measure the command : " After this manner therefore pray ye."
 
But the dangers against which the Mas- ter bids us guard ourselves, whenever we try to pray, become especially formidable at a time like this. I will try to open your eyes to them this morning. I. It would be difficult, I think impos- sible, to prove that our Lord ever com- manded his disciples to pray. " Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation," is shown by the context to be the granting of a privilege rather than the enforcement of a duty. Jesus always assumes that his dis- ciples pray ; teaches them plainly that un- less they pray they cannot do what they must do. A man cannot work unless he eats. The harder he works the more im- peratively he will realize his need of food. But there are no commandments in any code declaring that men shall eat. If they have no appetite they cannot ; if they have ? they do not need to be commanded. But nothing is more common with reli- gious teachers than to tell men it is their duty to pray, as it is their duty to tell the truth. Thus men have been led to assume that they can pray by resolving to do so, and 34 THE WORLD TO COME. the result is, so little real prayer tliat per- haps a majority are able to doubt whether praying is not folly, and to feel the need of prayer -tests to prove that our Father in heaven is to be thought of in the figure of parental considerateness rather than under the form of parental obstinacy or deafness.
 
Our Lord moved his disciples to pray, not by telling them to do so, but by exciting in them desires which compelled them to sup- plication. When they saw Him with Moses and Elias, they began to pray ; when they watched Him healing diseases, they began to pray ; when they heard Him praying, they straightway asked Him to teach them how to pray. If you are dying through inability to eat, you cannot cure yourself by simply resolving to swallow food. You must take measures to restore your appetite. either can you pray by direct force of resolution. You must put yourself under conditions which will in- spire desire for communion with God. 1. Because for most men it is hard to pray, and easy to pretend, we are warned against that easily besetting sin. " When ye pray, be not as the hypocrites are." TEACH US TO PRAY. 35 The hypocrites wanted of the king only to be seen in his company. They stood at his door that they might be mistaken for his friends. The same temptation assails us at all times, and is acutely dangerous now. It is insidious as malaria. It saps the health of piety before its presence is suspected ; has depraved many an honorable pagan into a

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