Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

July 7, 1892

Words to the Young

He who calls upon the Lord in humble, fervent prayer will receive the strength and grace which he needs to battle with temptation and to endure trials. In coming to God, the petitioner must present Christ as his authority, Christ's merit as his plea; and the pledged word of God is given that when these conditions are fulfilled, heaven is open unto the cries of the penitent and humble soul. Jesus taught that it was essential that all his children should pray; because they are needy and sinful and dependent, and because there is a malignant foe who is ever seeking the ruin of souls. Satan and his angels are ever upon the track of those who would do the will of God, tempting them to do evil, that they may be unhappy in this life, and lose also the life eternal which Jesus died to purchase for his followers. Satan ever seeks to lead men to do evil themselves, and to lead others into the snare of the enemy, in order that he may ruin souls, and lead men to do those things which are not pleasing to Christ. It is through leading us to yield to his temptations that Satan robs us of happiness here and eternal life at last.

It is very necessary that we should pray in order that we may have strength from above to see and resist the temptations of the enemy; but Satan ever seeks to prevent men from praying, by filling up their time with business or pleasure, or by leading them into such wickedness that they will have no desire to pray. The Lord Jesus has made heaven accessible to all who will come unto him, and he invites the children and the youth to come. He said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Jesus would have the children and the youth come to him with the same confidence with which they go to their parents. As a child asks his mother or father for bread when he is hungry, so the Lord would have you ask him for the things which you need. If your sins are heavy upon your heart, you are to come to God and say, “For Christ's sake, forgive my sins.” Every sincere prayer will be heard in heaven, and every earnest petition for grace and strength will be answered.

Jesus knows the needs of children, and he loves to listen to their prayers. Let the children shut out the world and everything that would attract the thoughts from God, and let them feel that they are alone with God, that his eye looks into the inmost heart, and reads the desire of the soul, and that they may talk with God. In humble faith you may claim his promises, and feel that although you have nothing in yourself whereby you may claim the favor of God, because of the merits and righteousness of Christ, you may come boldly to the throne of grace, and find help in time of need. There is nothing that can make the soul so strong to resist the temptations of Satan in the great conflict of life, as to seek God in humility laying before him your soul in all its helplessness expecting that he will be your helper and your defender.

Then, children, ask God to do for you those things that you cannot do for yourselves. Tell Jesus everything. Lay open before him the secrets of your heart; for his eye searches the inmost recesses of the soul, and he reads your thoughts as an open book. When you have asked for the things that are necessary for your soul's good, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. Accept his gifts with your whole heart; for Jesus has died that you might have the precious things of heaven as your own, and at last find a home with the heavenly angels in the kingdom of God.

Mrs. E. G. White

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