THE USEFULNESS OF PRAYER
BY LIVY S RJCHARD
Lused to wonder why folks pray.
If God were everywhere and knew
all things, surely-s'o-my reason told
me He needed, not a human prayer
to let Him know of human needs; or
the human appeal to quicken the
action of His infinite compassion.
Then my little daughter fell sick
and hovered for days near the border
of the great unknown. And ph, how
I prayed! ; x
It was-the prayer of a stricken soul
crazed with anguish unbearable a
selfish prayer, as I think most pray
ers are. But it brought immediate
relief relief as appreciable as coflfes'
to the troubled isoulr'wlio"nte.rs a
vaulted sanctuary, Jvith Mts -soft
music and subdifeiTiight, and hears'
from the ouipia rnesage oi.anspu--"ation
and -cheer; - -
WA$ SQUARING HIMSELF
' "I'm sorry you have had trouble
with your wife."
"NobodyT ' I saw you buying her a
new hfit." j
It was the voice of the finite lifted
to the jnfiniteforpityr4nd aid; and
while we may'not: be sure what the
effect iipon -the -infinite- iwas, this
much 'tis certain reflexjvely the
finite' was moved and soothed and
comforted. ' '
- "So-1 know 'now that prayer does
eobd." The rrood I see in it mav not
be" the good that others se; others
may see more than l. aut at least
Ji.no longer scoff at prayer.' No man
may scoff at prayer who' has gone
Into a deep experience and found a
jime when, alone, his spirit irresist
ibly reaches out for a communion
with the all-pervasive spirit which
"men call by various names, but
which, under anv name, means God.
To realize that man, in spite 'of all
'he has done, in spite of all that he
can see or feel or know, is weak and
small, and that in the wonderful uni
verse of which he is so tiny a part
there Js a force, a power, compared
with which his boasted best is but a
chip on the wave or a leaf whirling in.
the storm, is good now and then; and
prayer Is1 one of the instinctive ex
pressions of this chastening realiza
tion. Prayer is a, voice of faith; and faith
We have in, us that which is more
than reason. We have in ug 'sensibil
ities, will. Reason 'needs exercise1
that it may grow in power. The sen
sibilities need exercise that they may
grow In power. The unusedVwill be
comes as flabby as the unused mus-.
The reason may not explain for. us
all the mystery in .prayerj but we
know that our sensibilities are wel-.
lowed and enriched by prayer; and ,
that our will then gains a firmer pur
pose. . ,
So I say, do not effect to despise
Try, instead, to grow up to a .ca
pacity for its helpful uset
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