Monday, January 28, 2008

The Prayer Closet

Man, if thou livest without prayer, thou art a Christless soul; thy faith is a delusion, and thy confidence which results from it, is a dream that will destroy thee. Wake up out of thy death-like slumbers; for as long as thou art dumb in prayer, God cannot answer thee. Thou shalt not live to God, if thou dost not live in the closet, he that is never on his knees on earth shall never stand upon his feet in heaven; he that never wrestles with the angel here below, shall never be admitted into heaven by that angel above. I know I speak to some today that are prayerless ones. You have plenty of time for your counting-house, but you have none for your closet. Family prayer you have never had; but I will not talk to you about that. Private prayer you have neglected. Do you not sometimes rise in the morning so near the time when you must keep your appointments, that — you do kneel it is true, but where is the prayer? And as to any extra occasions of supplication, why, you never indulge yourselves in them. Prayer with you is a sort of luxury too dear to indulge in often.

Ah! but he who has true faith in his heart, is praying all day long. I do not mean that he is on his knees; but often when he is bargaining, when he is in his shop, or in his counting-house, his heart finds a little space, a vacuum for a moment, and up it leaps into the bosom of its God, and it is down again, refreshed to go about its business and meet the face of man.

From a sermon entitled "Characteristics of Faith," delivered May 27, 1860. Flickr photo by Benjamin; some rights reserved.

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