Continuance in Prayer

“Could you not watch with me one hour?” – Matthew 26:40

Probably many of us would be discomposed by a mathematical estimate of our communion with God. We are often in a hurry in our devotions. How much actual time do we spend in them daily? Can it not be easily reckoned in minutes? If so, the secret of much of our apathy in prayer is because of how little we desire to be alone with God.

Why should we expect to enjoy a duty which we have no time to enjoy? Do we enjoy anything which we do in a hurry? Of all employments, none can be more dependent on ‘time for it’ than stated prayer.

Prayer is an act of friendship with God. It is intercourse; an act of trust, of love, and interchange between the soul and the infinite and invisible Friend. We all need time for prayer, if for no other purpose than what we call communion with God. We all need friendly converse with Him whom our souls love. Someone has said, ‘He alone is a thousand companions; He alone is a world of friends.’ That man never knew what it is to be familiar with God who complains of the lack of friends, while God is with him. If God is indeed our Father and Friend, we lack not true friends.

How can we expect to enjoy a sense of the friendship of a present Saviour if we never linger in the twilight of His presence, to freshen and intensify our thoughts of Him?

We may lay it down as a firm principle of Christianity, that no large growth in holiness was ever gained by anyone who did not take time to be often and long alone with God.

– Austin Phelps (taken from his book, The Still Hour: Communion with God)

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