Ellen G. White Writings

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In Heavenly Places, Page 73

Fervent Prayer, March 7

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8.

Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. The eye of faith will discern God very near, and the suppliant may obtain precious evidence of the divine love and care for him. But why is it that so many prayers are never answered? ... The Lord gives us the promise: “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Again, He speaks of some who “have not cried unto me with their heart” (Hosea 7:14). Such petitions are prayers of form, lip service only, which the Lord does not accept....

There is need of prayer—most earnest, fervent, agonizing prayer—such prayer as David offered when he exclaimed: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” “I have longed after thy precepts”; “I have longed for thy salvation.” “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” “My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments” (Psalm 42:1; 119:40, 174; Psalm 84:2; 119:20). This is the spirit of wrestling prayer, such as was possessed by the royal psalmist....

Of Christ it is said: “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly” (Luke 22:44). In what contrast to this intercession by the Majesty of heaven are the feeble, heartless prayers that are offered to God. Many are content with lip service, and but few have a sincere, earnest, affectionate longing after God.

Communion with God imparts to the soul an intimate knowledge of His will.... True prayer engages the energies of the soul and affects the life. He who thus pours out his wants before God feels the emptiness of everything else under heaven. “All my desire is before thee,” said David, “and my groaning is not hid from thee.” “My soul thirsteth for God....” “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me” (Psalm 38:9; 42:2, 4).8Testimonies for the Church 4:533-535.

Your prayers may rise with an importunity that will not accept denial. That is faith.9Manuscript 8, 1892.

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