Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


In Prayer

I am pained as I see how little the gift of speech is appreciated. In reading the Bible, in engaging in prayer, in bearing testimony in meeting, how necessary is clear, distinct utterance! And how much is lost in family worship when the one offering prayer bows the face down and speaks in a low, feeble voice! But as soon as family worship is over, those who could not speak loud enough to be heard in prayer, can usually speak in clear, distinct tones, and there is no difficulty in hearing what they say. Prayer that is thus uttered is appropriate for the closet, but not edifying in family or public worship; for unless those assembled can hear what is said, they cannot say Amen. Nearly all can speak loud enough to be heard in ordinary conversation, and why should they not speak thus when called upon to bear testimony or to offer prayer? CT 241.1

When speaking of divine things, why not speak in distinct tones in a manner that will make it manifest that you know whereof you speak, and are not ashamed to show your colors? Why not pray as if you had a conscience void of offense, and could come to the throne of grace in humility, yet with holy boldness, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting? Do not bow down and cover up your faces as if there were something that you desired to conceal; but lift up your eyes toward the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ your Mediator stands before the Father to present your prayers, mingled with His own merit and spotless righteousness, as fragrant incense. CT 241.2

You are invited to come, to ask, to seek, to knock; and you are assured that you will not come in vain. Jesus says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7, 8. CT 242.1

Christ illustrates the willingness of God to bless by the willingness of a father to grant the request of his child. He says, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? Luke 11:11-13. CT 242.2

We come to God in the name of Jesus by special invitation, and He welcomes us to His audience chamber. He imparts to the humble, contrite soul that faith in Christ by which he is justified. Jesus blots out as a thick cloud his transgression, and the comforted heart exclaims, “O Lord, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me.” Isaiah 12:1. Such a one will understand by his own experience the words of Paul, “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10. CT 242.3

Man then becomes an agent whom God can employ to work out His purposes. He represents Christ, holding forth to the world His mercy and love. He has a testimony that he desires others to hear. In the language of the psalmist he says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies.” Psalm 103:1-4. CT 242.4