Man's Difficulty Concerning Prayer

—and not to faint.

— St. Luke 18:1

How should any design of the All-wise be altered in response to prayer of ours? Because he is the All-wise, who sees before him, and will not block his path. Such objection springs from poorest idea of God in relation to us. It supposes him to have cares and plan and intentions concerning our part of creation, irrespective of us. What is the whole system of things for, but our education? Does God care for suns and planets, for divine mathematics and ordered harmonies, more than for his children? He lays no plans irrespective of his children; and, his design being that they shall be free, active, live things, he sees that space be kept for them: they need room to struggle out of their chrysalis, to undergo the change that comes with the waking will. Surely he may keep his plans in a measure unfixed, waiting the free desire of the individual soul! Is not the design of the first course of his children’s education just to bring them to the point where they shall pray? And shall his system be then found hard and fast, as if informed of no live, causing soul, so that he cannot answer the prayer because of the system which has its existence for the sake of the prayer? How could he be Father, who creating, would not make provision, would not keep room for the babbled prayers of his children? Is his perfection a mechanical one? Has he himself no room for choice?  What stupidity of perfection would that be which left no margin about God’s work, no room for change of plan upon change of fact—yea, even the mighty change that, behold now at length, his child is praying!

Two BRIEF Prayers

by George MacDonald,
from his novel Donal Grant

O Father of us all! in whose hands are these unruly hearts of ours, we cannot manage ourselves; we ruin our own selves, but in Thee is our help found.


Oh Savior of men, Thy house is vaulted with light--in Thee is no darkness at all--fill my heart with Thy light, let me never hunger or thirst after anything but Thy will--that I may walk in the light, and light not darkness may go forth from me.