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THE example of our Lord in the matter of prayer is one which his followers might well copy. Christ prayed much and he taught much about prayer. His life and his works, as well as his teaching, are illustrations of the nature and necessity of prayer. He lived and labored to answer prayer.
IT has been said that the history of revivals is the history of religion, and no one can study their history without being impressed with their mighty influence on the destiny of the race. To look back over the progress of the divine kingdom upon earth is to review revival periods which have come like refreshing showers upon dry and thirsty ground, making the desert to blossom as the rose, and bringing new eras of spiritual life and activity just when the church had fallen under the influence of the apathy of the times, and needed to be aroused to a new sense of her duty and responsibility.
The preceding chapter closed with the statement that prayer can do anything that God can do. It is a tremendous statement to make, but it is a statement borne out by history and experience. If we are abiding in Christ—and if we abide in him we are living in obedience to his holy will—and approach God in his name, then there lie open before us the infinite resources of the divine treasure house.
WHY do we not pray? What are the hindrances to prayer? This is not a curious nor trivial question. It goes not only to the whole matter of our praying, but to the whole matter of our religion. Religion is bound to decline when praying is hindered. That which hinders praying, hinders religion. He who is too busy to pray will be too busy to live a holy life.
IT may be said with emphasis that no lazy saint prays. Can there be a lazy saint? Can there be a prayerless saint? Does not slack praying cut short sainthood’s crown and kingdom? Can there be a cowardly soldier? Can there be a saintly hypocrite? Can there be virtuous vice? It is only when these impossibilities are brought into being that we then can find a prayerless saint.