The Word of Jesus on Prayer

They ought always to pray.

— St. Mark. 18:1

Concerning this thing,” says St. Paul, “I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; power is made perfect in weakness.” God had a better thing for Paul than granting his prayer and removing his complaint: he would make him strong; the power of Christ should descend and remain upon him; he would make him stronger than his suffering, make him a sharer in the energy of God. Verily, if we have God, we can do without the answer to any prayer.

 “But if God is so good, and if he knows all that we need, and better far than we do ourselves, why should it be necessary to ask him for anything?” I answer, What if he knows prayer to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God’s idea of prayer be the supplying of our great, our endless need—the need of himself? What if the good of all our smaller and lower needs lies in this, that they help to drive us to God? Hunger may drive the runaway child home, and he may or may not be fed at once, but he needs his mother more than his dinner. Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other need; prayer is the beginning of that communion, and need is the motive of that prayer.

Commentary

by James House

God continually sends his love to all of his children.  He shares the light and heat of the sun, the refreshing and nourishing rain, and the air of breath to all.  His love flows into all of our lives in countless other ways.

But our Father's closest, most personal, most comforting, most reassuring, most refining love comes to us only internally. It is for us individually - and though we may witness of it to others, it cannot be proven to others that we partake of it, or that it even exists.  Just as evidences of God are everywhere, but full assurance of his existence is not, the same goes for his love.

And to have it so is grand wisdom in him!  How oft is the sun, the rain, the air taken for granted?  Yet these are his love. It is a mercy that the love we need most is not given in such a way that we can take it for granted. How little would we yearn for his goodness and strive to be more like his Son, if all his love were expressed only outwardly?

God be praised that he wants us to reach out for him, and that he desires to fill that need within, rather than without us!

"the loftiest activity of a man's being lay in prayer to the unknown Father of that being, and that light in the inward parts was the certain consequence—that, in very truth, not only did the prayer of the man find the ear of God, but the man himself found God Himself."
- George MacDonald

"the highest and loveliest, the most entrancing privilege of existence, that of pouring forth my whole heart into the heart of him who is accountable for me, who hath glorified me with his own image"
- George MacDonald