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devotion without interfering with any thing which ought not to be interfered with.

Seeing then that we can pray more-that time can be afforded for it, I am amazed that we do not pray more. If prayer was nothing but a duty, we ought to pray more. We do not pray enough to discharge the mere obligation of prayer. We are commanded to pray more than we do, aye, to pray “without ceasing." But prayer, while it is a duty, is rather to be viewed by us in the light of a privilege. And 0 it is such a privilege ! What a favor that we may petition God and ask of him eternal life, with the confidence that we shall not ask in vain! How strange it is that we no more value and exercise this privilege of prayer! It is astonishing that the sense of want, or the desire of happiness, does not carry us oftener to the throne of grace, and that we should ever require to be incited to prayer by the stimulus of conscience. Oh! I wonder that we do not oftener go in unto the King, whose gracious sceptre is ever extended towards us—I wonder we have not more frequent and longer interviews with our heavenly Father. It is strange we do not pray more, when prayer is the easiest way of obtaining good. What is so easy as

ask for what we want? How could we receive blessings on cheaper terms ? Surely it is easier than to labor, and less expensive than to buy. It may be hard to the spirit to ask of men. To beg of them you may be ashamed. But no such feeling should keep you aloof from God. He giveth and upbraideth not.

But prayer is not merely the easiest way of obtaining good. It is the only way of obtaining the greatest of all good. The subordinate necessaries of life we get by labor or purchase; but the things we most need are given in answer to prayer. The one thing needful is a divine donation. We ask, and receive it. Now we labor much. Why do we not pray more? Do we seek a profitable employment ? None is so profitable as prayer. No labor makes so large a return. If you have an unoccupied hour-and you have many, or might have—by redeeming time, you cannot employ it in any way that shall tell so favorably on your interests as by filling it up with petitions to God. Yet when we have such an hour, how apt we are to spend it in unprofitable intercourse with our fellows, rather than in communion with God. It is wonderful that we talk so much, when “the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury," and pray so little, when prayer " brings a quick return of blessings in variety.”

Is there any thing attended by a purer pleasure than prayer ? One who knew, said, “ It is good for me to draw near to God”—and again, “ It is good to sing praises unto our God: for it is pleasant, and praise is comely." All the exercises of devotion are as full of pleasure as they are abundant in profit.

But prayer is not only a means of getting good. It is such a means of doing good, that I wonder our benevolence does not lead us to pray more. We are commanded, “ as we have opportunity,” to do good unto all men. Now prayer affords us the opportunity of being universal benefactors. Through God we can reach all men. We can make ourselves felt by all the world, by moving the hand that moves it. In no other way can we reach all. Prayer makes us, in a sense, omnipresent and omnipotent. It prevails with Him who is both.

The world needs your intercessions. It lies in wickedness. Zion needs them. She languishes because few

pray
for her
peace;

few come to her solemn assemblies. Whose family needs not the prayers of its every member? Who has not kindred that are out of Christ ? With such a call upon us for prayer so urgent, and from so many quarters, I won. der we pray no more.

I must pray more, for then I shall do more—more for God, and more for myself; for I find that when I pray inost, I accomplish more in the briefer intervals between my devotions, than when I give all my tim to labor or study. I am convinced there is nothing lost by prayer. I am sure nothing helps a student

His most felicitous hours—his hours of most successful application to study, are those which immediately follow his seasons of most fervent devotion. And no wonder. Shall the collision of created minds with each other produce in them a

like prayer.

salutary excitement, and shall not the communion of those minds with the infinite Intelligence much more excite them, and make them capable of wider thought and loftier conceptions ?

I must pray more, because other Christians, whose biography I have read, have prayed more than I do.

God is disposed to hear more prayers from me than I offer; and Jesus, the Mediator, stands ready to present more for me.

If I pray more, I shall sin less.
I will pray more.

The Lord help to fulfill this resolution.

4. I must Pray differently.

Some time ago I felt strongly the necessity of praying more, and I expressed that impression in an article entitled, “ I must pray more.” Now I feel that I must not only pray more, but differently; and that my praying more will not answer any good purpose, unless I also pray differently. I find that quality is to be considered in praying as well as quantity, and, indeed, the former more than the latter. We learn from Isaiah, chapter 1, that it is possible to make many prayers, or to multiply prayer, as it is in the margin, and yet not be heard. The Scribes

and Pharisees made long prayers; but their much praying availed them nothing, while the single short petition of the publican was effectual to change his entire prospects for eternity. It was because it was prayer

of the right kind. It is a great error to sup pose that we shall be heard for our much speaking. Let me, however, say, that while length is not by itself any recommendation of prayer, yet we have the highest and best authority for continuing a long time in prayer. We know who it was that,“ rising up a great while before day," departed into a solitary place, and there prayed; and of whom it is recorded in another place, that he "continued all night in prayer to God.” Certainly they should spend a great deal of time in prayer, who are instructed to "pray without ceasing.". It is in the social and public worship of God that long prayers are out of place.

But to return from this digression. I must pray differently; and I will tell you one thing which has led me to think so. I find that I do not pray effectually. It may be the experience of others, as well as of myself. I do not obtain what I ask; and that though I ask for the right sort of things. If I asked for temporal good, and did not receive it, I should know how to account for it. I should conclude that I was denied in mercy; and that my prayer, though not answered in kind, was answered in better kind. But I pray for spiritual blessing—for what is inherently and under all circumstances good, and do not

Pr. Thoughts. 3

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