Signs of the Times

Topic: Prayer

[Ernest H. Cherrington, in the Adult Bible Class Monthly, Cincinnati, Ohio]

Man's effort to commune with a divine power, the evidence of whose existence we find all about us everywhere, would be inevitable even were there no organized religion in the world. The most uncivilized peoples have some form of worship. Jeremy Taylor has well said, "Every man can build a chapel in his breast, himself the priest, his heart the sacrifice, and the earth he treads on the altar." No civilization has been without the attribute of prayer. Socrates insisted that "our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us." ...

Throughout the history of Christianity prayer has been one of the most important of religion's essentials. The Pharisee referred to by Jesus was wont to believe that he would be heard for his much speaking and boasting; but Jesus built a monument to the sincerity of the short supplication of the publican, who in his humility prayed: "God be merciful to me a sinner." Martin Luther declared, "The fewer words, the better prayer." Bunyan wrote, "In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart."

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July 25, 1936

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