Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)




Lt 1, 1859

T., Brother


Circa 1859

Previously unpublished. See also Annotations.

Dear Brother T:

I was shown your case, that you lacked spirituality and humility. You love the truth; you love to see it triumph, and the cause of God advance. But you fail in your praying and talking. You do not come to God as He loves to have His people come. You should approach God with reverence, like a humble suppliant at His feet, feeling indeed poor, miserable, undeserving the least of His favors. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1859, par. 1

You use too many flowery words. You reach out beyond your measure. It is more like telling the Lord a story or giving an account of yourself to the Lord, as if He did not know you just as you are, than like humbly asking for His mercy and to pardon your sins. The earnest, simple, broken, penitent prayer is acceptable always to God, and the lofty, wordy prayer is not so much as noticed of Him, for it is disgusting to the ear of the Lord, disgusting to His people. You lack the sweet, meek, broken spirit in your prayers and exhortations. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1859, par. 2

There must be a thorough change with you or you can be of no help to the people of God. I am instructed that you must take time to pray, time for secret prayer. Your life must be more devoted to God. Examine your heart closely. Try your motives, lest the enemy get the advantage and lead you to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think. You will not have to answer for the sin of covetousness. You love to impart what you have to a suitable object. You love to do your part in aiding the cause of truth. This is regarded of heaven; but with it you must possess meekness, humility, and great carefulness before the Lord, saying, “We give to Thee, Lord, Thine own.” 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1859, par. 3

Fear continually to offend God. Then your influence will be saving. It will tell. It will have an effect upon all with whom you associate. When you pray, ask for the very things you need in a simple, humble, childlike manner. Don’t be governed by a flight of feeling, for those who have been governed by this have always been led astray. Dwell upon the living principle; make that the greatest thing. Bear your testimony in the spirit of meekness and simplicity, and it is noticed in heaven. God will make it more effective than much speaking or all the lofty, flowery, unmeaning words that can be arrayed together. Carry out your holy profession in all the walks of life. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1859, par. 4

Have your prayers right to the point, asking just what you need. You want one object before you when you pray, and do not wander from that object, but don’t ever be guilty of putting together an array of lofty words as you approach the Great Eternal. Said the angel, A broken heart and contrite spirit God will not despise, but will bend His ear low to the humble, penitent, self-abased child who hardly dares approach God. Such trembling faith will fasten upon the promises securely and will bring gracious returns. 1LtMs, Lt 1, 1859, par. 5