The Signs of the Times


June 18, 1902



Prayer is communion with God. It is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him. ST June 18, 1902, par. 1

Jesus Himself, while He dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Prayer went before and sanctified every act of His ministry. It was by prayer that He was braced for duty and for trial. He is a brother in our infirmities, “in all points tempted like as we are;” but as the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil; He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and a privilege. He found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. And if the Saviour of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent, constant prayer. ST June 18, 1902, par. 2

God longs to bestow on us the blessings of His grace. He has a deep, earnest desire for our happiness. He says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” He urges us to present our needs. His heart of love is filled with a longing desire to bring us into close touch with Him. ST June 18, 1902, par. 3

Do Not Be Afraid to Go to Him

Do not entertain the thought that because you have made mistakes, because your life has been darkened by errors, your Heavenly Father does not love you and will not hear you when you pray. He says, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” “The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” His heart of love is touched by our sorrows, and even by our utterance of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear; for He holds up worlds, He rules over the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. None have fallen so low, none are so vile, that they can not find deliverance in Christ. The demoniacs of Gadara, in the place of prayer could utter only the words of Satan; but yet the heart's unspoken appeal was heard. No cry from a soul in need is unheeded. ST June 18, 1902, par. 4

The ear of the Lord is open to the cry of every suppliant. Even before the prayer is offered or the yearning desire of the soul made known, the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it. Never has there been a genuine desire, never a tear shed in contrition of soul, but grace from Christ has gone forth to meet the grace working upon the human heart. ST June 18, 1902, par. 5

The Opened Way

Christ has opened the way for us to approach God. He says, “Make use of My name. It will be your passport to the heart of My Father and to all the riches of His grace. ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.... Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’” In Christ's name His followers are to stand before God. Through the value of the sacrifice made for them, they are of value in the Lord's sight. Because of the imputed righteousness of Christ, they are accounted precious. For Christ's sake the Lord pardons those that fear Him. He does not see in them the vileness of the sinner; He recognizes in them the likeness of His Son, in whom they believe. ST June 18, 1902, par. 6

True prayer brings power. Prayer has “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire,”—we shall know what this means when we hear the reports of the martyrs who were burned for their faith,—“turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” ST June 18, 1902, par. 7

We shall hear about these victories when the Captain of our salvation, the King of heaven, opens the record before those of whom John writes: “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” ST June 18, 1902, par. 8

Freshness and Progress in Religious Life

If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of conversation with God, as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet, joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us, as He draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. When this is in truth the experience of the Christian, there are seen in his life simplicity, humility, meekness, and lowliness of heart, that show to all with whom he associates that he has been with Jesus, and has learned of Him. ST June 18, 1902, par. 9

Every sincere prayer is heard in heaven. It may not be fluently expressed; but if the heart is in it, it will ascend to the sanctuary where Jesus ministers, and He will present it to the Father, beautiful and fragrant with the incense of His love. ST June 18, 1902, par. 10

How wonderful it is that we can pray effectually; that unworthy, erring mortals possess the power of offering their requests to God. What higher power can man require than this,—to be linked with the infinite God? Feeble, sinful man has the privilege of speaking to his Maker. He utters words that reach the throne of the Monarch of the universe. ST June 18, 1902, par. 11

The cry of the soul can not die away into silence, nor can it be lost. It rises above the din of the street, above the noise of machinery, to the heavenly courts. It is to God we are speaking, and the prayer is heard. ST June 18, 1902, par. 12

The rainbow about the throne is an assurance that God is true, that in Him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. We have sinned against Him, and are undeserving of His favor; yet He Himself has put into our lips that most wonderful of pleas, “Do not abhor us, for Thy name's sake; do not disgrace the throne of Thy glory; remember, break not Thy covenant with us.” When we come to Him confessing our unworthiness and sin, He has pledged Himself to give heed to our cry. The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfilment of His Word unto us. ST June 18, 1902, par. 13

Mrs. E. G. White