TOPIC:PRAYER AND SOLITUDE
TEXT: MATT. 6:6
''But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.''
Of prayer and solitude, one might dare to say they are those graces that God has joined to God: who dare put asunder what God has thus joined! For what the keel is to the ship; food to the body and the heart to animals, that solitude is to prayer. God hates divorce, He hates that prayer be robbed of privacy. A quiet place is a beeding ground for graces. When a man loves to pray in solitary places, solitude and prayer shall bring forth holy seed. Prayer and any other holy duty are purest and in their highest beauty and efficacy when done away from public glare. No public performance is without a grain of show and hypocrisy. Our Lord cojoins hypocricy with public prayer, armgiving and fasting. (See 6th of Matthew.) Lord, give me solitude! Show me the cave of Adulam, whereinto I can hide to breath out a holy prayer to you! Private prayer prepares men for effective public services. Friends, find a hole, a retirement or quiet place and there make your prayers. If a man's public devotion is higher than his private's, I dare to write such down as a hypocrite. The naturalists tell us that the Nightengale makes no conscience of her notes whenever she is alone, but conffesedly beautified her tones and notes whenever she notes a presence close by. Many proffesors of religion are so: the wheels of their zeal are oiled by men's applause and sensible rewards, hence they seem alive; conversely, how those wheels run heavy and slow when men's approbation is not in view or promised. He who loves quiet labour, is the puriest of all mortals! Of such, heaven says: 'Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile or supterfuge!'
Give me a solitary place Lord