The Christian’s Vital Breath

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer… – Romans 12:12

If prayer be the Christian’s vital breath, how can he leave off praying?

We must maintain the ardour of prayer; we must be intense always. Prayer is not to be a thing of yesterday, but of to-day, and to-morrow, until it changeth into praise above. Perhaps prayer will continue even in heaven. Certainly the souls under the altar cry “How long?” and unfulfilled prophecies yet big with future events will be pleaded even there. Praise, however, is the chief characteristic of the future state, as prayer is the characteristic of the present one. We are to get into a good pace-“instant in prayer,” and then to keep it up-continuing instant in prayer. “That is difficult” says one. Who said it was not? All the processes of the Christian life are difficult; indeed, they are impossible apart from the abiding help of the divine Spirit: but “the Spirit helpeth our infirmities.” Now then, brethren, that we may be helped to keep up our fervency in prayer, please to notice that prayer must be continuous, because it is so singularly mixed with the whole gospel dispensation. As the incense filled the temple, so does prayer fill the gospel economy. The blood was upon the mercy seat, and upon the altar, and the laver, and the candlestick, and the book; it was sprinkled everywhere in the Jewish Tabernacle, and thus atonement was the most conspicuous object in the worship prescribed by the law of Moses; but next to this, prayer was most prominent in the continual calling upon God, and in the smoke of the incense by which prayer was symbolized. It is the high privilege of those who are believers in Jesus to draw nigh unto God with their petitions perpetually. The whole church, like the twelve tribes, is instantly serving God day and night in prayer, hoping for the fulfillment of the promise of the glorious appearing. “Behold, he prayeth” is the very mark of the individual Christian, and the unity, the life, and the spirituality of the church are best seen in prayer.~ C.H. Spurgeon

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