The Word of Jesus on Prayer

They ought always to pray.


— St. Mark. 18:1

He that is made in the image of God must know him or be desolate: the child must have the Father! Witness the dissatisfaction of my soul without him! It cannot act from itself, save in God; acting from what seems itself without God, is a mere yielding to impulse. Instincts of betterment tell me I must rise above my present self—perhaps even above all my possible selves: I see not how to obey, how to carry them out! Surely this world of my unwilled, unchosen, compelled existence, cannot be shut out from him, cannot be unknown to him, unpresent to him from whom I am! Nay, is it not his thinking in which I think? Whatever passes in me must be as naturally known to him as to me. My thought must lie open to him: if he makes me think, how can I elude him in thinking? “If I should spread my wings toward the dawn, and sojourn at the last of the sea, even there thy hand would lead me, and thy right hand would hold me!” If I speak to him, if I utter words ever so low; if I but think words to him, nay, if I only think to him, surely he hears, and knows, and acknowledges! Then shall I not think to him? Shall I not tell him my troubles—how he, even he, has troubled me by making me? How unfit I am to be that which I am? That my being is not to me a good thing yet? Shall I not tell him that I need him to comfort me? Shall I not cry to him to be in me rest and strength? Every need of God, lifting up the heart, is a seeking of God, is a begging for himself, is profoundest prayer, and the root and inspirer of all other prayer.