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Quiet Talks With World Winners by S. D. Gordon

Prayer a Habit.

There's a little sentence of Paul's that used to puzzle and bother me, |Pray without ceasing.| But it has become a great help to me. It puzzled me because I didn't see any practical way of doing it. It didn't seem to mean the repetition of prayers, with little mechanical helps, such as some use. It surely doesn't mean staying on your knees a long time. But, as I tried to pray my way into its meaning, it came to mean four distinct things to me. And I would not be surprised to find more yet coming out of it.

First of all, it means that prayer should be a habit. There should be a fixed time every day, or times, for going off alone to pray. Into that time the Book is taken. Quiet time is spent in reading it. For this is listening to God. And that comes first in praying; listening first, then speaking. The reading may be rapid and broad, or slower and more meditative. Whichever it may be, there should be a cultivation of the habit of meditation.

I do not mean a sleepy trying to imitate what we suppose some holy men do. But a keen thinking into the meaning of the words, and into their practical use in one's own life. Then the praying itself. The being still before God, and the definite prayer for particular things, and persons, and places. That habit can be fixed until it becomes second nature. It can be cultivated until it becomes the sweet spot of the day to you.

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