In Heavenly Places

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The Spirit of Submission, March 23

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17. HP 89.1

Pray often to your heavenly Father. The oftener you engage in prayer, the closer your soul will be drawn into a sacred nearness to God. The Holy Spirit will make intercession for the sincere petitioner with groanings which cannot be uttered, and the heart will be softened and subdued by the love of God. The clouds and shadows which Satan casts about the soul will be dispelled by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and the chambers of mind and heart will be illuminated by the light of Heaven. HP 89.2

But be not discouraged if your prayers do not seem to obtain an immediate answer. The Lord sees that prayer is often mixed with earthliness. Men pray for that which will gratify their selfish desires, and the Lord does not fulfill their requests in the way which they expect. He takes them through tests and trials, He brings them through humiliations, until they see more clearly what their necessities are. He does not give to men those things which will gratify a debased appetite and which will prove an injury to the human agent and make him a dishonor to God. He does not give men that which will gratify their ambition and work simply for self-exaltation. When we come to God we must be submissive and contrite of heart, subordinating everything to His sacred will. HP 89.3

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ prayed to His Father, saying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). The cup which He prayed should be removed from Him, that looked so bitter to His soul, was the cup of separation from God in consequence of the sin of the world.... “Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). The spirit of submission that Christ manifested in offering up His prayer before God is the spirit that is acceptable to God. Let the soul feel its need, its helplessness, its nothingness; let all its energies be called forth in an earnest desire for help, and help will come.... Let faith pierce the darkness. Walk with God in the dark as well as in the light, repeating the words, “He is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23). Through the trial of our faith we shall be trained to trust in God. HP 89.4