CCIX. Prayer.

EPH. vi. 18. “Praying always with all
prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto
with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

WE have seen the apostle piling on armour upon the
Christian till he stands before us a shining pillar of steel.
One thing only he needs—constant prayer—to use his
armour effectively. The characteristics of Christian devo-
tion are set before us in the text.
I. Constancy: “Praying always.” Not constant articu-
late expression, but constant prayerful disposition.
II. Variety: “with all prayer,” i.e., every conceivable
variety—supplication, contemplation, thanksgiving, ejacu-
lation, arrow flights sent up in the midst of protracted
business. Everything that can cross a human spirit can
all be carried up to God.
III. Inspiration of the Spirit of God: “praying in the
Spirit.” Prayer thus inspired will not be mechanical and
formal. To gain this discipline of which the apostle
speaks as necessary, we must both watch ourselves and the
Providence of God. When a man prays thus, mechanical
cuckoo recitation of conventional prayers will not suffice.
But we need fixed hours of devotion. I do not believe in
a prayer diffused through life like a comet’s tail without
nucleus through space.
Alexander Maclaren, D.D.

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