Scripture: "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."--Philippians 4:6 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:"--John 16:13
"The best instruction I can give you as helpful or preparatory to the Spirit of Prayer, is already fully given where we have set forth the original perfection, the miserable fall and the glorious redemption of man. It is the true knowledge of these great things which can do all for you which human instruction can do. These things must fill you with a dislike of your present estate, drive all earthly desires out of your soul, and create an honest longing after your first perfection. For prayer can only be taught you by awakening in you a true sense and knowledge of what you are, and what you should be, and filling you with a con¬tinual longing desire of the heart after God, His life and Holy Spirit. When you begin to pray, ask your heart what it wants, and have nothing in your prayer but what the state of your heart puts you upon demanding, saying, or offering to God.
"The one and only infallible way to go safely through all the difficulties, trials, dryness or opposition of our evil tempers is this: to expect nothing from ourselves, but in everything expect and depend upon God for relief. Keep fast hold of this thread, and then let your way be what it will, temptation or the rebellion of nature, you will be led through all to a union with God. For nothing hurts us in any state but an expectation of something in it and from it, which we should only expect from God. And thus it will be till the whole turn of our minds is so changed, that we as fully see and know our inability to have any goodness of our own, as to have a life of our own. When we are happily brought to this conviction,-the whole spirit of our mind becomes a true faith and hope and trust in the sole operation of God's Spirit, looking no more to any other power to be formed in Christ new creatures, than we look to any other power for the resurrection of our bodies at the last day."
What a universal confession there is that we pray too little. How strange that our highest privilege, holding fellowship with God in prayer, is to so many a burden and a ailure, and to so many more a matter of form without the power. Let us learn the lesson that to expect nothing from ourselves is the first step. And then truly with the heart to expect everything from God. These two thoughts lie at the root of all true prayer. Instead of our thoughts being centred on man, on ourselves and our needs, let them become centred on God in His glory and His love, and prayer will become a joy and a power, and our trials will become our greatest blessing, because they compel us to wait upon God.