Man's Difficulty with Prayer

—and not to faint.

— St. Luke 18:1

Surely the system of things would not be complete in relation to the best thing in it—love itself—if love had not help in prayer. If I love and cannot help, does not my heart move me to ask him to help who loves and can? Will he answer, “Child, do not trouble me; I am already doing all I can”? If such answer came, who that loved would not be content? But what if the eternal, limitless Love, which, demanding all, gives all, should say, “Pray on, my child; I am hearing you; it goes through me in help to him. We are of one mind about it; I help and you help. I shall have you all safe home with me by and by! There is no fear, only we must work, and not lose heart. Go, and let your light so shine before men that they may see your good things, and glorify me by knowing that I am light and no darkness.” 

But it may be that the answer to prayer will come in a shape that seems a refusal. It may come even in an increase of that from which we seek deliverance. I know of one who prayed to love better: a sore division came between—out of which at length rose a dawn of tenderness. Our vision is so limited, our theories so small; our faith so continually fashions itself to the fit of our dwarf intellect, that there is endless room for rebellion against ourselves: we must not let our poor knowledge limit our not-so-poor intellect, our intellect limit our faith, our faith limit our divine hope; and reason must humbly watch over all—reason, the candle of the Lord.


by Dale Darling

Surely the candle of the Lord, lit in MacDonald, allowed the man to share his understanding of divine and human reason. How else does he communicate with such honesty, passion, and insight? Reason: the candle of the Lord, humbly watches over our divine hope, faith, not-so-poor intellect, and poor knowledge. Our limited vision makes small theories that further limit, in the faith, not as real as the smallness of the mustard seed of which Jesus spoke, fashions self to fit self. We rebel.

And faint in prayer, for looking at self.

But it is a reasonable that Love calls to Love, permits and encourages one to pray for another that which is known. God's love for His. Love Himself is reason to continue, to obey by saying, "Yes, Lord, I will pray at each request you put in my mind for another."

We see overwhelming-to-us need in the world. Pray the Lord of the harvest: send me, O Lord, even in prayer, with strength to continue and not faint.