Lord, teach us to pray!
It is my deepening conviction that perhaps the Lord's own people sin more in their efforts to pray, than in connection with any other thing they engage in.
What hypocrisy there is — where there should be reality!
What presumptuous demandings — where there should be submissiveness!
What formality — where there should be brokenness of heart!
How little we really feel the sins we confess!
What little sense of deep need for the mercies we seek!
And even where God grants a measure of deliverance from these awful sins . . .
how much coldness of heart,
how much unbelief,
how much self-will and self-pleasing
— have we to bewail!
We need to be delivered from a cold, mechanical and formal type of praying which is merely a lip-service, in which there is . . .
no actual approach unto the Lord,
no delighting of ourselves in Him,
no pouring out of the heart before Him.
I often say my prayers,
But do I ever pray?
And do the wishes of my heart
Go with the words I say?
I may as well kneel down
And worship gods of stone,
As offer to the living God
A prayer of words alone!
"Lord, teach us to pray!" Luke 11:1