Signs of the Times

[From an editorial in Wichita (Kan.) Eagle]

If men are wrong in praying to God to do for them what they must do for themselves, there still is a place for prayer—measured, be it repeated, by the cold rule of reason, and entirely aside from any theological speculations. The guiding rule God gave men through Jesus was unselfish service. No man has ever reached utter unselfishness save Jesus himself. Is it too much to say that no man can even approach it save through prayer? Certainly this much is certain, that no man ever even approximated the ideal of unselfish service who did not constantly search his heart, who did not consciously or unconsciously utter his aspirations for guidance and courage from day to day. He may have denied that this aspiration was prayer. He may not even have recognized God. Many are to come at that last day before Him, surprised to be told that they have served Him.

And in this sense prayer is the most powerful factor in life to-day, without any exception. Call it self-communion, call it prayer, call it what you will, the tremendous fact remains that no man who prays for guidance, for courage, for a greater knowledge of truth, and who at the same time shows even the least willingness to accept the leading he thus gets, whatever the cost in money and in pleasure and in the misunderstanding of men—no man who thus prays, be it remembered, ever goes without answer to his prayer. This is not a mere assertion; it is a truth any man may prove in his own life, if he will.

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July 26, 1919

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