The Prayer of Gratitude

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." There are instances where a good and just person, praying fervently and faithfully to God for help or blessings, apparently receives no answer to his prayer. Naturally the question arises, Why is there no response? Is God at fault, or does one pray amiss? The prophet Isaiah says, "The Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear." This clearly indicates that if one prays understandingly, his prayer is always answered by God.

Christ Jesus said: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." Therefore, it is evident that if our prayers receive no answer, it is because we are not praying aright. We need to watch that blind faith, self-righteousness, self-pity, or selfish desire enters not into our prayers. Let us be sure that our prayers are not vain repetitions or like that of the Pharisee, but, rather, for spiritual enlightenment, for wisdom and understanding, for purity and love, that we may reflect more of Godlikeness. Such prayer is the prayer of discernment and gratitude.

Gratitude finds expression in gentleness, humility, unselfishness, refinement, appreciation, and receptiveness. It indicates a willingness to become as a little child, to be obedient to divine Love, to say, "Not my will, but thine, be done." When Solomon communed with God in a dream at Gibeon, he first expressed gratitude for the blessings God had bestowed on his father David and himself; and he then prayed for guidance, and for an understanding heart, that he might judge the people rightly. His thought was unselfish, showing a deep desire to give as he received from God. His gratitude and humility opened the way for him to receive not only that for which he asked, but abundantly of the things for which he did not ask.

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Enlarging Our Borders
November 16, 1935

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