The Signs of the Times


December 23, 1889

“Pray Without Ceasing”



God condescends to meet man in his human weakness. The Lord has pledged us his word, so that there need be no occasion for questioning and doubt. The Scripture says: “God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” ST December 23, 1889, par. 1

How gracious and merciful is our God to thus meet the thoughts of human minds! Surely God could do no more for his people than he has done. These precious promises are not given to a few talented ones, but to all, high or low, free or bond, rich or poor, who have endeavored to comply with his requirements. ST December 23, 1889, par. 2

Those who, through faith in the merits of the blood of Christ, have clean hands and a pure heart, will receive the white robe, the crown of righteousness, and the life that will run parallel with the life of God. There is no limit to the blessings that we may receive in answer to sincere, fervent prayer. The love of God to fallen man is measureless, and if our Father sees that we will not be lifted up with the blessings he has power to bestow upon us, but will receive them with humble and grateful hearts, he will abundantly grant unto us our requests. He 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.” ST December 23, 1889, par. 3

The prayer that ascends from a broken and contrite heart, though it should come from the lips of the lowliest saint, is never disregarded. It is as sweet music in the ears of our heavenly Father; for he waits to bestow upon us the fullness of his blessing. It is not in our power to estimate the supplies that are provided by the Lord to meet our demands. What power might attend the church did we but call frequently and in faith for the abundant treasure of the store-house of God. We have only begun to taste of the richness of the divine promises. It is our privilege to drink largely of the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of his children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to God. What can the angels of God think of poor, helpless, human beings, who are subject to temptation, when God's heart of infinite love yearns toward them, and he is ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little, and have so little faith? The angels love to bow before God, they love to be near him. They regard intercourse with God as their highest joy, and yet the children of earth, who need so much help that God only can give, seem satisfied to walk without the light of his Spirit, the companionship of his presence. ST December 23, 1889, par. 4

The darkness of the evil one incloses those who fail to pray to God. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin, and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's store-house, where are the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer, without diligent watching, we are in danger of growing careless, and of deviating from the right path. Our backsliding may be so gradual that we may fancy ourselves in a good spiritual condition when we are surely on the enemy's ground. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy-seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain supplies of grace and power to resist temptation. ST December 23, 1889, par. 5

There is so much cowardice and helplessness, and so much dependence upon others, that we are inefficient to do the great work which has been committed to us. God's work cannot be done without a spirit of independence. Every man is to know by personal experience that he can lean upon God alone, and find in him a support and helper. Every man must learn to say humbly and firmly, “Looking unto Jesus, I dare to stand alone; for the Father is with me.” This was the attitude of Jesus. He said to his followers before his hour of trial: “Ye shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” ST December 23, 1889, par. 6