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Full text of "Lord, teach us to pray [microform]"

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DURRETT COLLECTION 




ALTEMUS' 
ETERNAL LIFE SERIES. 

Selections from the writings ofwell-hnoivn religious authors' 
works, beautifully printed and daintily bound in leatherette 
with original designs in sillier and ink. 

PRICE, 25 CENTS PER VOLUME. 



ETERNAL LIFE, by Professor Henry Drummond. 
LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY, by Rev. Andrew Murray. 
GOD'S WORD AND GOD'S WORK, by Martin Luther. 
FAITH, by Thomas Arnold. 
THE CREATION STORY, by Honorable William E. 

Gladstone. 
THE MESSAGE OF COMFORT, by Rt. Rev. Ashton 

Oxenden. 

THE MESSAGE OF PEACE, by Rev. R. W. Church. 
THE LORD'S PRAYER AND THE TEN COM- 
MANDMENTS, by Dean Stanley. 
THE MEMOIRS OF JESUS, by Rev. Robert F. Horton. 
HYMNS OF PRAISE AND GLADNESS, by Elisabeth 

R. Scovil. 

DIFFICULTIES, by Hannah Whitall Smith. 
GAMBLERS AND GAMBLING, by Rev. Henry Ward 

Beecher. 

HAVE FAITH IN GOD, by Rev. Andrew Murray. 
TWELVE CAUSES OF DISHONESTY, by Rev. Henry 

Ward Beecher. 
THE CHRIST IN WHOM CHRISTIANS BELIEVE, 

by Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks. 
IN MY NAME, by Rev. Andrew Murray. 
SIX WARNINGS, by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. 
THE DUTY OF THE CHRISTIAN BUSINESS MAN, 

by Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks. 
POPULAR AMUSEMENTS, by Rev. Henry Ward 

Beecher. 

TRUE LIBERTY, by Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks. 
INDUSTRY AND IDLENESS, by Rev. Henry Ward 

Beecher. 
THE BEAUTY OF A LIFE OF SERVICE, by Rt. 

Rev. Phillips Brooks. 
THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD, by Rev. A. 

T. Pierson.D.D. 

THOUGHT AND ACTION, by Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks. 
THE HEAVENLY VISION, by Rev. F. B. Meyer. 
MORNING STRENGTH, by Elisabeth R. Scovil. 
FOR THE QUIET HOUR, by Edith V. Bradt. 
EVENING COMFORT, by Elisabeth. R. Scovil. 
WORDS OF HELP FOR CHRISTIAN GIRLS, by 

Rev. F. B. Meyer. 
HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE, by Rev. Dwight L. 

Moody. 

EXPECTATION CORNER, by E. S. Elliot. 
JESSICA'S FIRST PRAYER, by Hesba Stretton. 



HENRY ALTEMUS, 
507, 500, 511,513 Cherry Street, Philadelphia. 




ANDREW MURRAY 



; , - 




Lord, Teach Us 
To Pray 



Rev. j/ 
Andrew 
Murray 




Philadelphia 
Henry Altemus 






ANDREW MURRAY 



Lord, Teach Us 
To Pray 



By Rev. 

Andrew ;7^F 
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Copyright, 1896, by HENRY ALTEMUS. 



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LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY 

OB 

THE ONLY TEACHER. 

THE disciples had been with Christ, and seen Him 
pray. They had learnt to understand something 
of the connection between His wondrous life in pub? 
lie, and His secret life of prayer. They had learnt 
to believe in Him as a Master in the art of prayer 
none could pray like Him. And so they came to 
Him with the request, 'Lord, teach us to pray. ' And 
in after years they would have told us that there were 
few things more wonderful or blessed that He taught 
them than His lessons on prayer. 

And now still it comes to pass, as He is praying in 
a certain place, that disciples who see Him thus en- 
gaged feel the need of repeating the same request, 
'Lord, teach us to pray.' As we grow in the Chris- 

5 



6 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

tian life, the thought and the faith of the Beloved 
Master in His never-failing intercession becomes 
evermore precious, and the hope of being Like Christ 
in His intercession gains an attractiveness before un- 
known. And as we see Him pray, and remember 
that there is none who can pray like Him, and none 
who can teach like Him, we feel the petition of the 
disciples, 'Lord, teach us to pray,' is just what we 
need. And as we think how all He is and has, how 
He Himself is our very own, how He is Himself our 
life, we feel assured that we have but to ask, and 
He will be delighted to take us up into closer fel- 
lowship with Himself, and teach us to pray even as 
He prays. 

Come, my brothers ! Shall we not go to the Blessed 
Master and ask Him to enrol our names too anew in 
that school which He always keeps open for those 
'Who long to continue their studies in the Divine 'art 
of prayer and intercession ? Yes, let ns this very day 
say to the Master, as they did of old, 'Lord, teach us 
to pray. ' As we meditate we shall find each word of 
the petition we bring to be full of meaning. 

'Lord, teach us to prayS Yes, to pray. This is 
what we need to be taught. Though in its begin- 
nings prayer is so simple that the feeble child can 
pray, yet it is at the same time the highest and 
holiest work to which man can rise. It is fellowship 
with the Unseen and Most Holy One. The powers 



THE ONLY TEACHER. 7 

of the eternal world have teen placed at its disposal. 
It is the very essence of true religion, the channel of 
all blessings, the secret of power and life. Not only 
for ourselves, but for others, for the Church, for the 
world, it is to prayer that God has given the right to 
take hold of Him and His strength. It is on prayer 
that the promises wait for their fulfilment, the king- 
dom for its coming, the glory of God for its full reve- 
lation. And for this blessed work, how slothful and 
unfit we are. It is only the Spirit of God can enable 
ns to do it aright. How speedily we are deceived 
into a resting in the form, while the power is wanting. 
Our early training, the teaching of the Church, the 
influence of habit, the stirring of the emotions how 
easily these lead to prayer which has no spiritual 
power, and avails but little. True prayer, that takes 
hold of God's strength, that availeth much, to which 
the gates of heaven are really opened wide who 
would not cry, Oh for some one to teach me thus to 
pray? 

Jesus has opened a school, in which He trains His 
redeemed ones, who specially desire it, to have power 
in prayer. Shall we not enter it with the petition, 
Lord ! it is just this we need to be taught! teach 
us to pray. 

'Lord, teach us to pray.' Yes, us, Lord. We 
have read in Thy "Word with what power Thy believ- 
ing people of old used to pray, and what mighty 



8 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

wonders were done in answer to their prayers. And 
if this took place under the Old Covenant, in. the 
time of preparation, how much more wilt Thou not 
now, in these days of fulfilment, give Thy people this 
sure sign of Thy presence in their midst. We have 
heard the promises given to Thine apostles of the 
power of prayer in Thy name, and have seen how 
gloriously they experienced their truth : we know for 
certain, they can become true to us too. We hear 
continually even in these days what glorious tokens 
of Thy power Thou dost still give to those who trust 
Thee fully. Lord ! these all are men of like passions 
with ourselves; teach us to pray so too. The prom- 
ises are for us, the powers and gifts of the heavenly 
world are for us. teach us to pray so that we may 
receive abundantly. To us too Thou hast entrusted 
Thy work, on our prayer too the coming of Thy 
kingdom depends, in our prayer too Thou canst 
glorify Thy name; 'Lord, teach us to pray.' Yes, 
us, Lord; we offer ourselves as learners; we would 
indeed be taught of Thee. 'Lord, teach us to pray.' 
'Lord, teach us to pray.' Yes, we feel the need 
now of being tauglit to pray. At first there is no 
work appears so simple; later on, none that is more 
difficult; and the confession is forced from us: We 
know not how to pray as we ought. It is true we 
have God's Word, with its clear and sure promises; 
but sin has so darkened our mind, that we know not 



THE ONLY TEACHER. 9 

always how to apply the "Word. In spiritual things 
we do not always seek the most needful things, or 
fail in praying according to the law of the sanctuary. 
In temporal things we are still less able to avail our- 
selves of the 'wonderful liberty our Father has given 
us to ask what we need. And even when we know 
what to ask, how much there is still needed to make 
prayer acceptable. It must be to the glory of God, 
in full surrender to His will, in full assurance of 
faith, in the name of Jesus, and with a perseverance 
that, if need be, refuses to be denied. All this must 
be learned. It can only be learned in the school of 
much prayer, for practice makes perfect. Amid the 
painful consciousness of ignorance and unworthiness, 
in the struggle between believing and doubting, the 
heavenly art of effectual prayer is learnt. Because, 
even when we do not remember it, there is One, the 
Beginner and Finisher of faith and prayer, who 
watches over our praying, and sees to it that in all 
who trust Him, for it their education in the school of 
prayer shall be carried on to perfection. Let but the 
deep undertone of all our prayer be the teachableness 
that comes from a sense of ignorance, and from faith 
in Him as a perfect teacher, and we may be sure we 
shall be taught, we shall learn to pray in power. 
Yes, we may depend upon it, HE teaches to pray. 

'Lord, teach us to pray.' None can teach like 
Jesus, none but Jesus; therefore we call on Him, 



10 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

*LOBD, teach ns to pray.' A pupil needs a teacher, 
who knows his work, who has the gift of teaching, 
who in patience and love will descend to the pupil's 
needs. Blessed be God ! Jesus is all this and much 
more. He knows what prayer is. It is Jesus, pray- 
ing Himself, who teaches to pray. He knows what 
prayer is. He learned it amid the trials and tears of 
His earthly life. In heaven it is still His beloved 
work: His life there is prayer. Nothing delights 
Him more than to find those whom He can take with 
Him into the Father's presence, whom He can clothe 
with power to pray down God's blessing on those 
around them, whom He can train to be His fellow- 
workers in the intercession by which the kingdom is 
to be revealed on earth. He knows how to teach. 
Now by the urgency of felt need, then by the confi- 
dence with which joy inspires. Here by the teaching 
of the Word, there by the testimony of another be- 
liever who knows what it is to have prayer heard. 
By His Holy Spirit, He has access to our heart, and 
teaches us to pray by showing us the sin that hinders 
the prayer, or giving us the assurance that we please 
God. He teaches, by giving not only thoughts of 
what to ask or how to ask, but by breathing within 
us the very spirit of prayer, by living within us as the 
Great Intercessor. "We may indeed and most joyfully 
say, 'Who teacheth like Him?' Jesus never taught 
His disciples how to preach, only how to pray. He 



THE ONLY TEACHER. 11 

did not speak much of what was needed to preach 
well, but much of- praying well. To know how to 
speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to 
man. Not power with men, but power with God is 
the first thing. Jesus loves to teach us how to pray. 
What think you, my beloved fellow-disciples! 
would it not be just what we need, to ask the Master 
for a month to give us a course of special lessons on 
the art of prayer? As we meditate on the words He 
spake on earth, let us yield ourselves to His teaching 
in the fullest confidence that, with such a teacher, we 
shall make progress. Let us take time not only to 
meditate, but to pray, to tarry at the foot of the 
throne, and be trained to the work of intercession. 
Let us do so in the assurance that amidst our stam- 
merings and fears He is carrying on His work most 
beautifully. He will breathe His own life, which is 
all prayer, into us. As He makes us partakers of His 
righteousness and His life, He will of His intercession 
too. As the members of His body, as a holy priest- 
hood, we shall take part in His priestly work of 
pleading and prevailing with God for men. Yes, let 
us most joyfully say, ignorant and feeble though we 
be, 'Lord, teach us to pray.' 

'LOED, TEACH US TO PKAY. J 



Blessed Lord ! who ever livest to pray, Thou canst 
teach me too to pray, me to live ever to pray. In 
2 



12 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

this Thou lovest to make me share Thy glory in 
heaven, that I should pray without ceasing, and ever 
stand as a priest in the presence of iny God. 

Lord Jesus ! I ask Thee this day to enrol my name 
among those who confess that they know not how to 
pray as they ought, and especially ask Thee for a 
course of teaching in prayer. Lord! teach me to 
tarry with Thee in the school, and give Thee time to 
train me. May a deep sense of my ignorance, of the 
wonderful privilege and power of prayer, of the need 
of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of prayer, lead me 
to cast away my thoughts of what I think I know, 
and make me kneel "before Thee in true teachableness 
and poverty of spirit. 

And fill me, Lord, with the confidence that with 
such a teacher as Thou art I shall learn to pray. In 
the assurance that I have as my teacher, Jesus, who 
is ever praying to the Father, and by His prayer 
rules the destinies of His Church and the world, I 
will not be afraid. As much as I need to know of 
the mysteries of the prayer-world, Thou wilt unfold 
for me. And when I may not know, Thou wilt teach 
me to be strong in faith, giving glory to God. 

Blessed Lord! Thou wilt not put to shame Thy 
scholar who trusts Thee, nor, by Thy grace, would 
he Thee either. Amen. 



'IN SPIEIT AND TBUTH;' 

OR 
THE TEUE WOESHIPPEES. 

'The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers 
shall worship the Father in spirit and truth : for such doth 
the Father seek to be His worshippers. God is a Spirit : 
and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit 
and truth. 'JOHN iv. 23, 24. 

npHESE words of Jesus to the woman of Samaria 
-L are His first recorded teaching on the subject of 
prayer. They give us some wonderful first glimpses 
into the world of prayer. The Father. seeks worship- 
pers: our worship satisfies His loving heart and is a 
joy to Him. He seeks 'true worshippers, but finds 
many not such as He would have them. True wor- 
ship is that which is in spirit and truth. TJie Son 
lias come to open the way for this worship in spirit 
and in truth, and teach it us. And so one of our first 
lessons in the school of prayer must be to understand 
what it is to pray in spirit and in truth, and to know 
how we can attain to it. 

13 



14 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

To the woman of Samaria our Lord spoke of a 
threefold -worship. There is, first, the ignorant wor- 
ship of the Samaritans : ' Ye worship that which ye 
know not. ' The second, the intelligent worship of 
the Jew, having the true knowledge of God: 'We 
worship that which we know ; for salvation is of the 
Jews.' And then the new, the spiritual worship 
which He Himself has come to introduce: 'The hour 
is coining, and is now, when the true worshippers 
shall worship the Father in spirit and truth.' From 
the connection it is evident that the words in spirit 
and truth' do not mean, as is often thought, ear- 
nestly, from the heart, in sincerity. The Samaritans 
had the five books of Moses and some knowledge of 
God; there was doubtless more than one among them 
who honestly and earnestly sought God in prayer. 
The Jews had the true full revelation of God in His 
word, as thus far given; there were among them 
godly men, who called upon God with their whole 
heart. And yet not 'in spirit and truth,' in the full 
meaning of the words. Jesus says, ' The hour is com- 
ing, and now is : ' it is only in and through Him that 
the worship! of God will be in spirit and truth. 

Among Christians one still finds the three classes 
of worshippers. Some who in their ignorance hardly 
know what they ask: they pray earnestly, and yet 
receive but little. Others there are, who have more 
correct knowledge, who try .to pray with all their 



THE TRUE WORSHIPPERS. 15 

mind and heart, and often pray most earnestly, and 
yet do not attain to the full blessedness of worship in 
spirit and truth. It is into this third class we must 
ask our Lord Jesus to take us; we must be taught 
of Him how to worship in spirit and truth. This 
alone is spiritual worship; this makes us worship- 
pers such as the Father seeks. In prayer everything 
will depend on our understanding well and practising 
the worship in spirit and truth. 

'God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must 
worship Him in spirit and truth. ' The first thought 
suggested here by the Master is that there must be 
harmony between God and His worshippers; such as 
.God is, must His worship be. This is according to a 
principle which prevails throughout the universe: we 
look for correspondence between an object and the 
organ to which it reveals or yields itself. The eye 
has an inner fitness for the light, the ear for sound. 
The man who would truly worship God, would find 
and know and possess and enjoy God, must be in har- 
mony with Him, must have a capacity for receiving 
Him. Because God is Spirit, we must worship in 
spirit. As God is, so His worshipper. 

And what does this mean? The woman had asked 
our Lord whether Samaria or Jerusalem was the true 
place of worship. He answers that henceforth wor- 
ship is no longer to be limited to a certain place: 
'Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh when neither in 



1C LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship 
the Father.' As God is Spirit, not hound by space 
or time, but in His infinite perfection always and 
everywhere the same, so His worship would hence- 
forth no longer he confined by place or form, but 
spiritual as God Himself is spiritual. A lesson of 
deep importance. How much our Christianity suffers 
from this, that it is confined to certain times and 
places. A man who seeks to pray earnestly in the 
church or in the closet, spends the greater part of 
the week or the day in a spirit entirely at variance 
with that in which he prayed. His worship was the 
work of a fixed place or hour, not of his whole being. 
God is a spirit: He is the Everlasting and Unchange- 
able One; what He is, He is always and in truth. 
Our worship must even so be in spirit and truth : His 
worship must be the spirit of our life; our life must 
be worship in spirit as God is Spirit. 

'God is a Spirit : and they that worship Him must 
worship Him in spirit and truth.' The second 
thought that comes to us is that this worship in the 
spirit must come from God Himself. God is Spirit : 
He alone has Spirit to give. It was for this He sent 
His Son, to fit us for such spiritual worship, by giv- 
ing us the Holy Spirit. It is .of His. own work that 
Jesus speaks when He says twice, 'The hour cometh,' 
and then adds, 'and is now.' He came to baptize 
with the Holy Spirit; the Spirit could not stream 



THE TRUE WORSHIPPERS. 17 

forth till He was glorified (John i. 83, vii. 37, 38, 
xvi. 7). It was when He had made an end of sin, 
and entering into the Holiest of all with His blood, 
had there on our behalf received the Holy Spirit 
(Acts ii. 33), that He could send Him down to us 
as the Spirit of the Father. It was when Christ had 
redeemed us, and we in Him had received the posi- 
tion of children, that the Father sent forth the Spirit 
of His Son into our hearts to cry, 'Abba, Father. ' 
The worship in spirit is the worship of the Father in 
the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Sonship. 

This is the reason why Jesus here uses the name of 
Father. We never find one of the Old Testament 
saints personally appropriate the name of child or 
call God his Father. The worship of the Father is 
only possible to those to whom the Spirit of the Son 
has been given. The worship in spirit is only pos- 
sible to those to whom the Son has revealed the 
Father, and who have received the spirit of Sonship. 
It is only Christ who opens the way and teaches the 
worship in spirit. 

And in truth. That does not only mean, in sin- 
cerity. Nor does it only signify, in accordance with 
the truth of God's Word. The expression is one of 
deep and Divine meaning. Jesus is 'the only-begot- 
ten of the Father, fu ttof grace and truth.' 'The law 
was given by Moses; grace and -truth came by Jesus 
Christ.' Jesus says, 'I am the truth and the life.' 



18 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

In the Old Testament all was shadow and promise; 
Jesus brought and gives the reality, the substance, of 
things hoped for. In Him the blessings and powers 
of the eternal life are our actual possession and ex- 
perience. Jesus is full of grace and truth ; the Holy 
Spirit is the Spirit of truth ; through Him the grace 
that is in Jesus is ours indeed, and truth a positive 
communication out of the Divine life. And so wor- 
ship in spirit is worship in truth; actual living fel- 
lowship with God, a real correspondence and har- 
mony between the Father, who is a Spirit, and the 
child praying in the spirit. 

"What Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, she 
could not at once undertand. Pentecost was needed 
to reveal its full meaning. "We are hardly prepared 
at our first entrance into the school of prayer to grasp 
such teaching. We shall understand it better later 
on. Let us only begin and take the lesson as He 
gives it. We are carnal and cannot bring God the 
worship He seeks. But Jesus came to give the 
Spirit : He has given Him to us. Let the disposition 
in which we set ourselves to pray be what Christ's 
words have taught us. Let there be the deep con- 
fession of our inability to bring God the worship that 
is pleasing to Him; the childlike teachableness that 
waits on Him to instruct us; the simple faith that 
yields itself to the breathing of the Spirit. Above 
all, let us hold fast the blessed truth we shall find 



THE TRUE WORSHIPPERS. 19 

that the Lord has more to say to us about it that 
the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God, the revela- 
tion of His infinite Fatherliness in our hearts, the 
faith in the infinite love that gives us His Son and 
His Spirit to make us children, is indeed the secret 
of prayer in spirit and truth. This is the new and 
living way Christ opened up for us. To have Christ 
the Son, and The Spirit of the Son, dwelling within, 
us, and revealing the Father, this makes us true, 
spiritual worshippers. 

* LORD, TEACH US TO PEAT. ' 



Blessed Lord ! I adore the love with which Thou 
didst teach a woman, who had refused Thee a cup of 
water, what the worship of God must he. I rejoice 
in the assurance that Thou wilt no less now instruct 
Thy disciple, who comes to Thee with a heart that 
longs to pray in spirit and in truth. my Holy 
Master ! do teach me this blessed secret. 

Teach me that the worship in spirit and truth is 
not of man, but only comes from Thee; that it is 
not only a thing of times and seasons, but the 'out- 
flowing of a life in Thee. Teach me to draw near to 
God in prayer under the deep impression of my ig- 
norance and my having nothing in myself to offer 
Him, and at the same time of the provision Thon, 
my Saviour, makest for the Spirit's breathing in my 



'jw LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

childlike stammerings. I do bless Thee that in Thee 
I am a child, and have a child's liberty of access:- 

1 V * 

that in Thee I have the spirit of Sonship and of wor- 
ship of truth. Teach me, above all, Blessed Son of 
the Father, how it is the revelation of the Father 
that gives confidence in prayer; and let the in- 
finite Fatherliness of God's Heart be my joy and 
strength for a life of prayer and of worship. Amen. 



PRAY TQ THY FATHER WHICH IS 

SECEET 

OB 

ALONE WITH GOD. 

'But thou, when fchou prayest, enter into thine inner 
Chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father 
which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret 
shall recompense thee. ' MATT. vi. 6. 

A FTER Jesus had called His first disciples He 
*- gave them t-heir first public teaching in the 
Sermon on the Mount. He there expounded to them 
the kingdom of God, its laws and its life. la that 
kingdom God is not only King, but Father; He not 
only gives all, but is Himself all. In the knowledge 
and fellowship of Him alone is its blessedness. Hence 
it came as a matter of course that the revelation of 
prayer and the prayer-life was a part of His teaching 
concerning the New Kingdom He came to set up. 
Moses gave neither command nor regulation with re- 
gard to prayer: even the prophets say little directly 
of the duty of prayer; it is Christ who teaches to 
pray. 

21 



22 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

And the first thing the Lord teaches His disciples 
is that they must have a secret place for prayer; 
every one must have some solitary spot where he can 
be alone with his God. Every teacher must have a 
schoolroom. We have learnt to know and accept 
Jesus as our only teacher in the school of prayer. 
He has already taught us at Samaria that worship is 
no longer confined to times and places; that wor- 
ship, spiritual true worship, is a thing of the spirit 
and the life ; the whole man must in his whole life he 
worship in spirit and truth. And yet He wants each 
one to choose for himself the fixed spot where He 
can daily meet him. That inner chamber, that soli- 
tary place, is Jesus' schoolroom. That spot may be 
anywhere; that spot may change from day to day 
if we have to change our abode ; but that secret place 
there must be, with the quiet time in which the pupil 
places himself in the Master's presence, to be by Him 
prepared to worship the Father. There alone, bul; 
there most surely, Jesus comes to us to teach us to 
pray. 

A teacher is always anxious that his schoolroom 
should be bright and attractive, filled with the light 
and air of heaven, a place where pupils long to come, 
and love to stay. In His first words on prayer in the 
Sermon on the Mount, Jesus seeks to set the inner 
chamber before us in its most attractive light. If 
we listen carefully, we soon notice what the chief 



ALONE WITH GOD. 23 

thing is He has to tell us of our tarrying there. 
Three times He uses the name of Father: 'Pray to 
thy Father;'' ''Thy Father shall recompense thee;' 
6 Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of.' 
The first thing in closet-prayer is: I must meet my 
Father. The light that shines in the closet must be: 
the light of the Father's countenance. The fresh air 
from heaven with which Jesus would have filled the 
atmosphere in which I am to breathe and pray, is: 
God's Father-love, God's infinite Fatherliness. Thus 
each thought or petition we breathe out will be 
simple, hearty, childlike trust in the Father. This is 
how the Master teaches us to pray: He brings us into 
the Father's living presence. What we pray there 
must avail. Let us listen carefully to hear what the 
Lord has to say to us. 

First, Pray to thy Father which is in secret. ' God 
is a God who hides Himself to the carnal eye. As 
long as in our worship of God we are chiefly occupied 
with our own thoughts and exercises, we shall not meet 
Him who is a Spirit, the unseen One. But to the 
man who withdraws himself from all that is of the 
world and man, and prepares to wait upon God alone, 
the Father will reveal Himself. As he forsakes and 
gives up and shuts out the world, and the life of the 
world, and surrenders himself to be led of Christ into 
the secret of God's presence, the light of the Father's 
love will rise upon, him. The secrecy of the inner 



24 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

chamber and the closed door, the entire separation 
from all around us, is an image of, and so a help to, 
that inner spiritual sanctuary, the secret of God's 
tabernacle, within the veil, where our spirit truly 
comes into contact with the Invisible One. And so 
we are taught, at the very outset of our search after 
the secret of effectual prayer, to remember that it is 
in the inner chamber, where we are alone with the 
Father, that we shall learn to pray aright. The 
Father is in secret: in these words Jesus teaches 
us where He is waiting us, where He is always to 
be found. Christians often complain that private 
prayer is not what it should be. They feel weak 
and sinful, the heart is cold and dark ; it is as if 
they have so little to pray, and in that little no faith 
or joy. They are discouraged and kept from prayer 
by the thought that they cannot come to the Father 
as they ought or as they wish. Child of God ! listen 
to your Teacher. He tells you that when you go 
to private prayer your first thought must be: The 
Father is in secret, the Father waits me there. Just 
because your heart is cold and prayerless, get you 
into the presence of the loving Father. As a father 
pifcieth his children, so the Lord pitieth yon. Do 
not be thinking of how little you have to bring God, 
but of how much He wants to give you. Just place 
yourself before, and look up into, His face; think 
of His love, His wonderful, tender, pitying love. 



ALONE WITH GOD. 25 

Just tell Him how sinful and cold and dark all is: 
ib is the Father's loving heart -will give light and 
warmth to yours. do what Jesus says: Just shut 
the door, and pray to thy Father, which is in secret. 
Is it not wonderful? to he able to go alone with God, 
the infinite God. And then to look up and say : My 
Father! 

1 A nd tliy Father, which seetJi in secret, will recom- 
pense ihee. ' Here Jesus assures us that secret prayer 
cannot be fruitless : its blessing will show itself in our 
life. We have but in secret, alone with God, to en- 
trust our life before men to Him ; He will reward us 
openly ; He will see to it that the answer to prayer be 
made manifest in His blessing upon us. Our Lord 
would thus teach us that as infinite Fatherliness and 
Faithfulness is that with which God meets us in se- 
cret, so on our part there should be the childlike 
simplicity of faith, the confidence that our prayer 
does bring down a blessing. 'He that cometh to 
God must believe that He is a rewarder of them that 
seek Him. ' Not on the strong or the fervent feel- 
ing with which I pray does the blessing of the closet 
depend, but upon the love and the power of the 
Father to whom I there entrust my needs. And 
therefore the Master has but one desire: Eemember 
your Father is, and sees and hears in secret; go there 
and stay there, and go again from there in the confi- 
dence: He will recompense. Trust Him for it; de- 



26 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

pend upon Hi in : prayer to the Father cannot be vain ; 
He will reward you openly. 

Still further to confirm this faith in the Father-love 
of God, Christ speaks a third word: * Your Father 
knoweth what things ye have need of "before ye ask 
Him.' 1 At first sight it might appear as if this 
thought made prayer less needful: God knows far 
better than we what we need. But as we get a 
deeper insight into what prayer really is, this truth 
will help much to strengthen our faith. It will 
teach ns that we do not need, as the heathen, with 
the multitude and urgency of our words, to compel 
an unwilling God to listen to ns. It will lead to a 
holy thoughtfulness and silence in prayer as it sug- 
gests the question : Does my Father really know that 
I need this? It will, when once we have been led 
by the Spirit to the certainty that our request is in- 
deed something that, according to the "Word, we do 
need for God's glory, give us wonderful confidence to 
say, My Father knows I need it and must have it. 
And if there be any delay in the answer, it will teach 
us in quiet perseverance to hold on : FATHER ! THOU 
KTTOWEST I need it. the blessed liberty and sim- 
plicity of a child that Christ our Teacher would fain 
cultivate in us, as we draw near to God : let us look 
up to the Father until His Spirit works it in us. 
Let us sometimes in our prayers, when we are in 
danger of being so occupied with our fervent, urgent 



ALONE WITH GOD. 27 

petitions, as to forget that the Father knows and 
hears, let us hold still and just quietly say: My 
Father sees, my Father hears, my Father knows ; it will 
help our faith to take the answer, and to say : We know 
that we have the petitions we have asked of Him. 

And now, all ye who have anew entered the school 
of Christ to he taught to pray, take these lessons, 
practise them, and trust Him to perfect you in them. 
Dwell much in the inner chamber, with the door 
shut shut in from men, shut up with God; it is 
there the Father waits you, it is there Jesus will 
teach you to pray. To be alone in secret with THE 
FATHER: this be your highest joy. To be assured 
that THE FATHER will openly reward the secret prayer, 
so that it cannot remain unblessed : this be your 
strength day by day. And to know that THE FATHER 
knows that you need what you ask, this be your lib- 
erty to bring every need, in the assurance that your 
God will supply it according to His riches in glory in 
Christ Jesus. 

' LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. ' 



Blessed Saviour ! with my whole heart I do bless 
Thee for the.appointment of the inner chamber, as 
the school where Thou meetest each of Thy pupils 
alone, and revealest to him the Father. my Lord! 
strengthen my faith so in the Father's tender love 
and kindness, that as often as I feel sinful or trou- 



28 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

bled, the first instinctive thought may be to go where 
I know the Father waits me, and where prayer never 
can go unblessed. Let the thought that He knows 
my need before I ask, bring me, in great restfulness 
of faith, to trust that He will give what His child 
requires. let the place of secret prayer become to 
me the most beloved spot on earth. 

And, Lord! hear me as I pray that Thou wouldest 
everywhere bless the closets of Thy believing people. 
Let Thy wonderful revelation of a Father's tender- 
ness free all young Christians from every thought of 
secret prayer as a duty or a burden, and lead them 
to regard it as the highest privilege of their life, a joy 
and a blessing. Bring back all who are discouraged, 
because they cannot find aught to bring Thee in 
prayer. give them to understand that they have 
only to come with their emptiness to Him who has all 
to give, and delights to do it. Not, what they have 
to bring the Father, but what the Father waits to 
give them, be their one thought. 

And bless especially the inner chamber of all Thy 
servants who are working for Thee, as the place where 
God's truth and God's grace is revealed to them, 
where they are daily anointed with fresh oil, where 
their strength is renewed, and the blessings are re- 
ceived in faith, with which they are to bless their 
fellow-men. Lord, draw us all in the closet nearer 
to Thyself and the Father. Amen. 



<AFTEK THIS MANNER PEAT; ' 

OE 
THE MODEL PEAYER. 

'After this manner therefore pray ye : Our Father which 
art in heaven. ' MATT. vi. 9. 

T?VERY teacher knows the power of example. He 
*-^ not only tells the child what to do and how to do 
it, but shows him how it really can be done. In con- 
descension to our weakness, our Heavenly Teacher 
has given us the very words we are to take with us 
as we draw near to our Father. "We have in them a 
form of prayer in which there breathe the freshness 
and fulness of the Eternal Life. So simple that the 
child can lisp it, so divinely rich that it comprehends 
all that God can give. A form of prayer that becomes 
the model and inspiration for all other prayer, and 
yet always draws us back to itself as the deepest 
utterance of our souls before our God. 

f Our Father which art in heaven I ' To appreciate 
this word of adoration aright, I must remember that 

29 



30 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

none of the saints had in Scripture ever ventured .to 
address God as their Father. The invocation places 
us at once in the centre of the wonderful revelation the 
Son came to make of His Father as our Father too. 
It comprehends the mystery of redemption Christ 
delivering us from tlae curse that we might become 
the children of God. The mystery of regeneration 
the Spirit in the new birth giving us the new life. 
And the mystery of faith ere yet the redemption is 
accomplished or understood, the word is given on 
the lips of the disciples to prepare them for the 
blessed experience still to come. The words are the 
key to the whole prayer, to all prayer. It takes time, 
it takes life to study them; it will take eternity to 
understand them fully. The knowledge of God's 
Father -love is the first and simplest, but also the last 
and highest lesson in the school of prayer. It is in 
the personal relation to the living God, and the per- 
sonal conscious fellowship of love with Himself, that 
prayer begins. It is in the knowledge of God's 
Fatherliness, revealed by the Holy Spirit, that the 
power of prayer will be found to root and grow. In 
the infinite tenderness and pity and patience of the 
infinite Father, in His loving readiness to hear and to 
help, the life of prayer has its joy. let us take 
time, until the Spirit has made these words to us 
spirit and truth, filling heart and life : 'Our Father 
which art in heaven. ' Then we are indeed within 



THE MODEL PRAYER. 31 

the veil, in the secret place of power where prayer 
always prevails. 

''Hallowed be TJiy name. 1 There is something here 
that strikes us at once. "While we ordinarily first 
bring our own needs to God in prayer, and then think 
of what belongs to God and His interests, the Master 
reverses the order. First, Thy name, TJiy kingdom, 
Thy will; then, give us, forgive us, lead s, deliver 
us. The lesson is of more importance than we think. 
In true worship the Father must he first, must be alL 
The sooner I learn to forget myself in the desire that 
HE may be glorified, the richer will the blessing be 
that prayer will bring to myself. No one .ever loses 
by what he sacrifices for the Father. 

This must influence all our prayer. There are two 
sorts of prayer : personal and intercessory. The latter 
ordinarily occupies the lesser part of our time and 
energy. This may not be. Christ has opened the 
school of prayer specially to train intercessors for the 
great work of bringing down, by their faith and 
prayer, the blessings of His work and love on the world 
around. There can be no deep growth in prayer 
unless this be made our aim. The little child may 
ask of the, father only what it needs for itself; and 
yet it soon learns to say, Give some for sister too. 
But the grown-up son, who only lives for the father's 
interest and takes charge of the father's business, 
asks more largely, and gets all that is asked. And 



32 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

Jesus would train us to the blessed life of consecration 
and service, in which our interests are all subordinate 
to the Name, and the Kingdom, and the Will of the 
Father. let us live for this, and let, on each act 
of adoration, Our Father! there follow in the same 
breath, Thy Name, Tliy Kingdom, Tliy Will; for 
this we look up and long. 

''Hallowed be Thy name.'' What name? This new 
name of Father. The word Holy is the central word 
of the Old Testament; the name Father of the New. 
In this name of Love all the holiness and glory of God 
are now to be revealed. And how is the name to be 
hallowed? By God Himself: ' 1 will hallow My 
great name which ye have profaned.' Our prayer 
must be that in ourselves, in all God's children, in 
presence of the world, God Himself would reveal the 
holiness, the Divine power, the hidden glory of the 
name of Father. The Spirit of the Father is the 
Holy Spirit: it is only when we yield ourselves to be 
led of Him, that the name will be halloived in our 
prayer and our lives. Let us learn the prayer: 'Our 
Father, hallowed be Thy name.' 

1 Tliy kingdom come. ' The Father is a King and 
has a kingdom. The son and heir of a king has no 
higher ambition than the glory of his father's king- 
dom. In time of war or danger this becomes his 
passion ; he can think of nothing else. The children 
of the Father are here in the enemy's territory, where 



THE MODEL PA YER. 33 

the kingdom, which is in heaven, is not yet fully 
manifested. What more natural than that, when 
they learn to hallow the Father-name, they should 
long and cry with deep enthusiasm : ( Thy kingdom 
come.' The coming of the kingdom is the one great 
event on which the revelation of the Father's glory, 
the blessedness of His children, the salvation of the 
world depends. On our prayers too the coming of 
the kingdom waits. Shall we not join in the deep 
longing cry of the redeemed : 'Thy kingdom come'? 
Let us learn it in the school of Jesus. 

"Tliy will te done, as in heaven, so on eart/i.' This 
petition is too frequently applied alone to the suffer- 
ing of the will of God. In heaven God's will is done, 
and the Master teaches the child to ask that the will 
may be done on earth just as in heaven : in the spirit 
of adoring submission and ready obedience. Because 
the will of God is the glory of heaven, the doing of 
it is the blessedness of heaven. As the will is done, 
the kingdom of heaven comes into the heart. And 
wherever faith has accepted the Father's love, obedi- 
ence accepts the Father's will. The surrender to, 
and the prayer for a life of heaven-like obedience, is 
the spirit of childlike prayer. 

' Give us this day our daily "bread. ' When first the 
child has yielded himself to the Father in the care 
for His Name, His Kingdom, and His Will, he has 
full liberty to ask for his daily bread. A master 



34 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

cares for the food of his servant, a general of his sol- 
diers, a father of his child. And will not the Father 
in heaven care for the child who has in prayer given 
himself up to His interests? We may indeed in full 
confidence say: Father, I live for Thy honor and Thy 
work ; I know Thou carest for me. Consecration to 
God and His will gives wonderful liberty in prayer 
for temporal things: the whole earthly life is given 
to the Father's loving care. 

* And forgive vis our debts as we also have forgiven 
onr debtors. ' As bread is the first need of the body, 
so forgiveness for the soul. And the provision for 
the one is as sure as for the other. We are children, 
but sinners too; our right of access to the Father's 
presence we owe to the precious blood and the for- 
giveness it has won for us. Let us beware of the 
prayer for forgiveness becoming a formality: only 
what is really confessed is really forgiven. Let us in 
faith accept the forgiveness as promised: as a spirit- 
ual reality, an actuaL transaction between God and 
us, it is the entrance into all the Father's love and 
all the privileges of children. Such forgiveness, as a 
living experience, is impossible without a forgiving 
spirit to others: as forgiven expresses the heavenward, 
so forgiving the earthward, relation of God's child. 
In each prayer to the Father I must be able to say 
that I know of no one whom I do not heartily love. 

''And lead us not into temptation, l>ut deliver us 



THE MODEL PRA YER. 35 

from the mil one. ' Our daily bread, the pardon of our 
sins, and then our being kept from all sin and the 
power of the evil one, in these three petitions all our 
personal need is comprehended. The prayer for 
bread and pardon must bo accompanied by the sur- 
render to live in all things in holy obedience to the 
Father's will, and the believing prayer in everything 
to be kept by the power of the indwelling Spirit 
from the power of the evil one. 

Children of God ! it is thus Jesus would have us 
to pray to the Father in heaven. let His Name, 
and Kingdom, and Will, have the first place in our 
love; His providing, and pardoning, and keeping 
love will be our sure portion. So the prayer will 
lead us up to the true child-life: the Father all to 
the child, the Father all for the child. We shall 
understand how Father and child, the Thine and the 
Our, are all one, and how the heart that begins its 
prayer with the God-devoted THINE, will have the 
power in faith to speak out the OUE too. Such prayer 
will, indeed, be the fellowship and interchange of 
love, always bringing us back in trust and worship to 
Him who is not only the Beginning but the End: 

* FOE THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWEE, AND 

THE GLOEY, FOE EVEE, AMEN. ' Son of the Father, 
teach us to pray, c OUE FATHEE.' 

'LOBD, TEACH US TO PEAT.' 



36 LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY. 

Thou who art the only-begotten Son, teach us, 
we beseech Thee, to pray, 'OuE FATHER.' We 
thank Thee, Lord, for these Living Blessed Words 
which Thou hast given us. We thank Thee for the 
millions who in them have learnt to know and worship 
the Father, and for what they have been to us. 
Lord ! it is as if we needed days and weeks in Thy 
school with each separate petition ; so deep and full 
are they. But we look to Thee to lead us deeper into 
their meaning: do it, we pray Thee, for Thy Name's 
sake ; Thy name is Son of the Father. 

Lord! Thou didst once say: 'No man knoweth 
the Father save the Son, and he to whom the Son 
willeth to reveal Him.' And again: ' I made known 
unto them Thy name, and will make it known, that 
the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in 
them.' Lord Jesus! reveal to us the Father. Let 
His name, His infinite Father-love, the love with 
which He loved Thee, according to Thy prayer, BE 
IN us. Then shall we say aright, 'OuR FATHER!' 
Then shall we apprehend Thy teaching, and the first 
spontaneous breathing of our heart will be: 'Our 
Father, Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy Will. ' And 
we shall bring our needs and our sins and our temp- 
tations to Him in the confidence that the love of such 
a Father cares for all. 

Blessed Lord! we are Thy scholars, we trust Thee; 
do teach us to pray, 'OUR FATHER.' Amen. 



ALTEMUS' 
BELLES-LETTRES SERIES. 

A collection of Essays and Addresses by eminent English 
and American Authors, beautifully printed and daintily 
bound In leatherette, with original designs in silver. 



PRICE, 25 CENTS PER VOLUME. 



INDEPENDENCE DAY, by Rev. Edward E. Hale. 

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MISS TOOSEY'S MISSION. 

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HENRY ALTEMUS, 
507, 509, 577, 573 Cherry Street, Philadelphia. 



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