Gilbert Beebe on Prayer 5

The humblest and most simple expression of desire that comes welling up from a broken and contrite heart, is far better than the most eloquent flow of words that charm the carnal ears of men; for the sacrifice of a broken and contrite spirit God will not despise. — In our secret prayers, when alone in our closet, that is, when the world is shut out from our mind, and there is none but God can hear, and we feel that our devotion is a personal matter between the trembling suppliant and his God, we use the personal pronouns in their singular form; as, ‘my God,’ why hast thou forsaken me? God be merciful ‘to me;’ ‘hear me;’ ‘deliver me,’ &c. Whether upon our knees, prostrate on the ground, or upon our beds, or even when our hands are engaged in labor, by night or day, when our heart is drawn out to God in the secret aspirations of the heart, we pray with the spirit and the understanding, even when our lips are sealed in silence. We cannot suppress the secret desire inwrought by the Spirit, and involuntarily arising from the depth of our heart to God as the Giver of every good and perfect gift; and from a deep sense of our own vileness, every ejaculation is presented in the name of Jesus, with a full conviction that we can approach God in no other name. The apostle Peter reminds us that the end of all things is at hand, and admonishes us therefore to “be sober, and watch unto prayer.” {I Peter iv. 7} What Jesus our Lord has said unto one, he also says unto all his dear saints, “Watch.” “Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” In a careful, vigilant watching, we cannot fail to find abundant incentives to prayer; and if our watching does not have the effect to incline us to pray, it must be that we are in the sad condition of those saints of whom Peter speaks, {I Peter i. 9,} who having neglected the admonition given at that chapter, are blind, cannot see afar off, and have forgotten that they have been purged from their old sins. — In conclusion of this already lengthy article, we wish to say to those who have been exercised upon the subject and who have requested to write upon this important subject; you cannot be too poor, too needy, or too unworthy to call upon the name of the Lord. It is especially for those of just your description of character that God has provided the new and living way, which he has consecrated for all who, being humbled under his mighty hand, do feel their need of his mercy and grace. It is the poor that he filleth with good things, while the rich he sends empty away. — “Blest are the humble souls that see, Their emptiness and poverty; Treasures of grace to them are given, And crowns of joy laid up in heaven.” Gilbert Beebe, Signs of the Times, Editorial. {Volume 47, Middletown, NY, January 1, 1879.}   (Taken from

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