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that nothing in this world can help them, and that God is their only refuge.
We must change our lives if we desire to change our hearts. God will have no regard to the prayers of those who have none to his commands.
The spirit of God will not dwell in a divi. ded heart. We cannot feel the pleasures of devotion, while the world is our delight. Not that all pleasures are criminal, but the closer our union with the world, the less our union with God. A christian, therefore, who strives after devotion, should taste sensual pleasures very sparingly, should make necessity, not bo: dily delight his rule
He that would be devout must beware of îndulging a habit of wandering in prayer ; it is a crime that will grow upon us and deprive us of the happiness we pray for,
Avoid as much as may be, multiplicity of
business, Neither the innocency nor the good. ness of our employment will excuse, if it possess our hearts when we are praying to God.
Never be curious to know what passes in the world, any farther than duty obliges you; it will only distract the mind when it should be better employed.
Never intermit devotion if you can help it; you will return to your duty like Samson, short of his locks, weak and indifferent as other people of the world.
The oftener' we renew our intercourse with God, the greater will be our devotion. Frequent prayer, as it is an exercise of holy thoughts, is a most natural remedy against the power of sin. Importunity makes no change in God, but it creates in us such dispositions as God thinks proper to reward.
Make it a law to yourself to meditate before you pray, as also to make certain pauses to see
if your hearts go along with your lips. They whose hearts desire nothing, pray for nothing.
Give me o God, the spirit of true devotion, such as may give life to all my prayers, so that they may find acceptance in thy sight, for Jesus Christ's sake.
He that has learnt to pray as he ought, has got the secret of a holy life.
It is of greater advantage to us than we innagine, that God does not grant our petitions immediately. We learn by that, whereunto we have already attained, it was the gift of God.
The best way to prevent wandering in prayer, is not to let our mind wander too much at other times ; but to have God always in our minds, in the whole course of our lives.
The end of prayer is not to inform God, but to give man a sight of his own misery and sinfulness; to raise his soul towards heaven, and
to pnt him in mind that there is his Father and inheritance.
It is a rudeness among men to ask a favour and not stay for an answer. And do we count it no fault to pray for blessings and never to think of them afterwards ? never to wait for them? never to give God thanks for them..'
Let us not run over our prayers with an insensible and distracted mind.
Let your prayer be as particular as may be against the sins of your particular state, for the graces which you in particular do most stand in need of. This is the best preservative against sin ; makes us best acquainted with our condition; puts us continually in mind of mending what is amiss; lets us see what particular graces we most want, what are most needful for the cure of our own particular corruption and disorder.
The deyil knows, that when we have a rea
lish for prayer and apply ourselves in good earnest to it, that we are in the way of life, he therefore strives by all way possible to divert us.
God will deny us no good thing that we really desire and ask in the name of his son, when we offer up our prayer through his mediation, it is then he that prays, his love that intercedes, his blood that pleads, it is he that obtains all from his father.
The neglect of prayer is very often punished by God's leaving men to themselves and to their own wicked ways; which ever did and ever will end in their ruin.
The cause of which is plain; constant and wilful omission of this duty is a sure way to loose the knowledge and remembrance of God, his word and promises, and these men will have no motives to love or to fear God, nor any reason to hope for any good from him..... It will also very naturally lead people to det