Prayer toned with Christliness

Christ Jesus taught a memorable lesson about prayer when he contrasted the publican and Pharisee. The Pharisee's words were self-congratulatory, even arrogant. He was Mr. Perfect—or so he thought. The publican was wise enough to recognize a need for increased spirituality. Of him the Master said, "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Luke 18:14.

Yes, there are the times we simply fail to make the right points in prayer. Although our phrasing probably isn't as blatantly off-base as was the Pharisee's, still it may not be so on target as what the publican offered. But even if we usually have the right concepts, does the tone of thought that impels them miss the mark? Important as right statements are, wasn't the more vital point made by Jesus the spiritual feeling, the very hue of consciousness, that gives meaning to what we say?

Think of the times when we've read of a healing in the Christian Science periodicals or listened to one related during a Wednesday evening meeting of a Church of Christ, Scientist. The testifier may have shared some of the words included in his prayer. Perhaps they sounded very much like terms and phrases we ourselves have used, but without apparent results. The difference could well be a certain spiritual quality that gave character to the words. The more Christly the flavor of our thoughts, the more effective will be our prayer.

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Mindy and Boller's Pond
October 19, 1981

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