YEARNING to pray! The word "learning" is used advisedly - as far as I am concerned. We deplore these ever-recurring conflicts between nations - now become world conflicts. Yet we experience these daily conflicts within our own souls. At least I do. How well Jesus knew when He said, "Except ye become as a little child ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven!" And again He said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." I look back, and long for the simple faith of my childhood. The road was a little rough at times, and of course had many tempting side lanes. But it was never cluttered with personal grudges, nor motes plucked out of the other fellow's eye, nor gilt shrines which we now call "personal dignity" or "I-have-my-pride-you-know." There was no greed for worldly possessions; and as for your old age, why, of course God would take care of you, come what will. Somehow we need to regain that faith. Fear is a terrible road block between you and God. As you read the life and sayings of Jesus, you find his constant reiteration, "Oh, ye of little faith!" For those who really want to do God's will, Jesus made it amazingly simple. "Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
I would just like to share a beautiful experience I had last Monday morning. Beatrice Protheroe, whose only son was killed 3-1/1 years ago, had asked me the Wednesday before to join the little prayer group at the church. When Monday morning came, Satan whispered - ever so guilefully - "You haven't time to go up there. Leave that to less busy people. You can do your praying at home." Somehow Conscience, dwarfed as he is in my own soul, rose to his full height fairly shook his fist at me and said, "Shame on you! You think you can't give up ONE HOUR out of your work days, to go and commune with God, and be one of His witnesses." There is something so enriching about the fellowship of prayer. Here were women - and one earnest young divinity student - whose faith had grown deeper with the years. Here was a wonderfully spiritual leader who taught you how to pray - how to think of yourself as a channel rather than a reservoir. Here were testimonies of direct answer to prayer. Like gift favors at a banquet were the little books and pamphlets, one of them a personal gift from the woman leader. One of these by E. Stanley Jones, is called, "How to Pray." Bless his heart, he takes out no copyright that says you may not reproduce any part of this booklet. True Christians know they have no copyright on truth. This sainted Christian says, "If I had one gift, and only one gift to make to the Christian Church, I would offer the gift of prayer. For every thing follows from prayer." He says that in the prayer time, the battle of the spiritual life is lost or won. "Prayer is not an optional subject in the curriculum of living - it is the required subject." But how to pray. That is the burden of his little book. He begins "at the lowest rung of the ladder."
1. Breathe the prayer, "Lord, teach me to pray." There, as he says, you "bathe your very quest in prayer."
2. Bear in mind that the universe is an open universe. That amid and through the laws that govern our universe are open possibilities, open to initiative and creative faith. "In this world of freedom amid law - there are many things open to prayer that will never be done unless we cooperate with God to do them. It is into this world of freedom and possibility we enter as we enter into prayer."
And now the column is already full. But call this just a preface to the vital subject at hand. In the meantime, ask and ye shall receive help from God.
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 3/22/51 - Friends in Marion Center, Pa.
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