Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
— Ephesians 6:18, HCSB
There are two kinds of prayer,—the prayer of form and the prayer of faith. The repetition of set, customary phrases when the heart feels no need of God, is formal prayer. “When ye pray,” says Christ, “use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” We should be extremely careful in all our prayers to speak the wants of the heart, and to say only what we mean. All the flowery words at our command are not equivalent to one holy desire. The most eloquent prayers are but vain repetitions, if they do not express the true sentiments of the heart. But the prayer that comes from an earnest heart, when the simple wants of the soul are expressed just as we would ask an earthly friend for a favor, expecting that it would be granted—this is the prayer of faith.
Oh that we could impress on the minds of all the great willingness of God to help and strengthen every one who looks to him in trusting prayer. The oil and wine of consolation will be given to those who seek for it; the importunate soul will know him as the One who hears and answers prayer, the One who “comforteth those that are cast down.” He is a God over all the earth, exercising over the whole human family an unwearied and solicitous watchcare which nothing can escape. Every moment he grants audience to those who lay their wants and desires before him.
As thus step by step we ascend the shining ladder that leads to the city of God, oh how many times we shall be discouraged, and come to weep at the feet of Jesus over our failures and our defeats. In our efforts to follow the copy set us by our Lord, we shall make crooked lines, and leave many a page blotted and blistered by our tears of repentance. Yet let us not cease our efforts. Heaven can be attained by every one of us if we will strive lawfully, doing the will of Jesus and growing into his image. Temporary failure should make us lean more heavily on Christ, and we should press on with brave-heart, determined will, and unfaltering purpose.
— Signs of the Times, August 14, 1884
O Lord, I come before You seeking Your consolations, for You are a God who comforts those who are downcast. I lay my wants and desires before You. Thank You for Your great willingness to be my help and my strength, even though I fail You too often. Help me do Your will. I put my trust in You, leaning more on You so I may grow more in Your likeness.