The writer of the following pages has endeavored to set forth the duty—the privilege—and the blessedness of humble, earnest, persevering prayer. He has attempted no particular arrangement of the subject, but has sought to bring before his readers some of those gracious invitations and sweet promises of the Word of God, which our Heavenly Father has given to allure and attract us to a Throne of Grace.
In so doing, he has made it his chief aim to represent Christ Jesus as the only, all-sufficient Savior and High Priest, through whom alone we can draw near to God, and for whose sake alone, God has graciously promised to hearken to our prayers—to pardon our sins—to help our infirmities—and to bestow upon us whatever things He knows in His unerring wisdom to be needful, or expedient for us.
It has also been the object of the writer, to impress the necessity of private, family, and social prayer—in order to our growth in knowledge and in grace—to our continual advancement in godliness—and to the strengthening and nourishing of our souls unto life eternal. We must live in entire dependence upon Christ—in the exercise of faith in Christ—trusting Him in all, for all, with all—trusting Him with all our concerns, for soul and body—for this life and eternity—for ourselves and others—"casting all our cares upon Him, knowing that He cares for us."
In illustrating and enforcing such precious truths as these, the writer has drawn from his own past experience in a season of protracted illness, and he has availed himself of the thoughts and sentiments of others who have realized, in like manner, the peace—the comfort—the strength—the hope and joy, attendant on humble, believing prayer.
The writer has felt, (oh, how often!) that in times of weakness and weariness—of suffering and sorrow—there is no refuge—no place of rest, which can, for a moment, be compared with the heavenly mercy-seat! There, the burdened soul may cast itself on the bosom of infinite love—there, anxieties, doubts, and fears may be freely disclosed—there, a "peace which passes all understanding," may be enjoyed—there, the world with its cares, and troubles, and sorrows, may, for a season, be effectually excluded, and in sweet communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, faith may be strengthened—love increased—hope enlivened—repentance deepened—yes, every spiritual need, and longing, and desire, Grace with more simplicity and godly sincerity than hitherto—with a livelier faith, a warmer love, a deeper penitence—with hearts more humbly dependent on His grace, and more firmly devoted to His service.