Signs of the Times

[From the Youth's Companion, Boston, Massachusetts]

The teaching of Jesus concerning prayer is the Magna Charta of democracy. "Thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret." Other forms of prayer are not forbidden, but that which is especially commended is the prayer of the individual man or woman meeting God face to face. Jesus might have said, "Thou, when thou prayest, go into the church, and let the prayer of other worshipers assist thine own." He might have said, "Thou, when thou prayest, go to a priest or minister or godly friend, and let him through his larger experience assist thee in prayer." ... We are not to understand the teaching of Jesus as forbidding any effective aid to prayer, as we are permitted to find it in association with others whose prayers shall strengthen and exalt our own. We are not forbidden to use the experience and aspiration of noble souls in past generations so far as we can make their prayers the normal expression of our own best aspirations. But we are not to think that any external assistance is essential to acceptable prayer. Face to face with God, every man stands on a spiritual level with every other man. That is the bed rock of our faith in democracy. It is our assurance that the humblest man has standing in God's court.... This truth, when well considered, lifts prayer far above the level of a pitiful begging for the gratification of our personal desires. It is the noblest doctrine of the church in its definition of the high prerogative of humanity. Democracy, if it attempt to establish ignorance on a plane with knowledge, or greed and personal ambition on a plane with public spirit, is dangerous and false. But democracy based on spiritual equality before God is the highest right of manhood as religion understands it, and the best and most hopeful truth in political science.

March 24, 1928

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.