Refreshment by Prayer

One of the Psalms begins, "My heart is inditing a good matter;" but this translation does not indicate well the meaning of the original, which has reference to something irrepressible that is bubbling up like the waters of a spring. Hence, a more graphic translation would be as given by a student of the Hebrew, "My heart o'erflows with pleasant thought." That phrasing would be a very good description of the refreshment which comes to one's nature when he occupies himself in true prayer.

Prayer embodies the assertion of the true nature of man, and is always a process of reminding one's self that God is great and good, "our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." In his struggle with unreality it is by means of prayer that one gains the recognition of reality; and by means of that recognition he gains rest of mind, peace, and comfort. The phrase "O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him" is remembered by many in its musical setting, so often have they heard the words sung in oratorio. At each hearing it seems more beautiful. The word which in the Scripture was translated "rest" has a meaning in the original which is worth considering. The thought of the first writer was intended to be that of becoming "silent" before God. When we apprehend this attitude we are able to maintain a stillness and a sense of stability while the phantasmagoria of mortal mind passes by—the moving picture of sorrow and grief, if it be that; the play-acting of persecution and hate, if it be that until it is as if a curtain comes down upon all scenes of unpleasantness and we walk again in the light of day.

"Felt ye the power of the Word?"
April 5, 1930

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