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asking for it, till the Lord hears our prayers, or shows us that it is not consistent with his will to give us what we desire. And, when we ask for God's Spirit, or for any thing that he has told us in his word that he is willing to give, we should keep asking, and grow more earnest, and never give it up, till we have received the blessing. The Lord sometimes delays to answer our prayers, in order to try our faith, and to see whether we will persevere in asking. And sometimes he, no doubt, sees something wrong in our prayers, when we are not sensible of it. We should then examine ourselves, and strive to correct what is wrong, when our prayers are not answered as soon as we have expected.
WHEN, WHERE, FOR WHOM, AND HOW WE MUST PRAY.
'MOTHER, there are some other things I would like to know about prayer. Does the Bible say any thing about the time and place of prayer?"
"The Bible does not tell us how many times in a day we must pray. From what I have already said, you see the necessity of praying often. But it is very important that you should have regular and stated seasons for prayer. Daniel was in the habit of praying statedly, three times a day and David says, 'Evening, morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud; and he shall hear my voice;' and the writer of the 119th Psalm says, 'Seven times a day do I praise thee.' You ought to have your times for prayer, and they should
be fixed and regular; and never think of neglecting them, any more than you would think of neglecting your meals. And, in regard to our private prayers, our Saviour says they should be in secret. He told his disciples not to seek public places, where they would be seen, when they prayed; but to go into their closets, and shut the door, so that no eye but God might see them. Any secret place for prayer, where none but God can see us, is a closet. Our Lord spent much time in retired places, in prayer to God. We often read of his going up into a mountain to pray. And the garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed in such agony, the night in which he was betrayed, was a retired place, on the Mount of Olives, where he often went with his disciples. Your bed-room, or any other place where you can be free from interruption, is a proper place for your devotions. There you ought to spend
much time in reading the Bible and prayer, and in thinking about God and serious things. If you do so, you may expect God will meet with you, and bless you."
"But, mother, did Christ mean that we should never pray anywhere else, but in secret?"
"When Christ rebuked the Pharisees and hypocrites for making long prayers in public places, he did not mean to condemn public worship. You will find a great many examples of public prayer in the Bible. He only meant to condemn praying merely to be seen of others. The Jews had certain hours for prayer; and when these hours came, they would stop and pray, wherever they were. And many of them sought public places, where they might be seen, in order to show their great piety. Now, if you pray in any way, in order to make people think you are very pious,
you show yourself to be a hypocrite, and come under this reproof."
Must I pray for anybody but myself, mother?"
Yes; the apostle Paul says to Timothy, I exhort that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for ALL MEN; for kings, and for ALL THAT ARE IN AUTHORITY.' And to the Ephesians he says, 'Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance for ALL SAINTS, and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.' The duty of praying for our rulers is often mentioned by the apostles; and the duty of praying for ministers of the gospel."
"Mother, can you tell me about any persons mentioned in the Bible, who prayed for others?"