It’s impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without setting aside definite times for secret prayer. The main idea of the life of faith is “My eyes on God, not on people.” When you pray, your motive shouldn’t be to be known as one who prays. Go into an inner chamber—a place where no one will know you are praying—then shut the door and talk to God in secret. Have no motive other than to know your Father in heaven.

“Do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:7). God is never impressed by earnestness. It isn’t because we go to him with an earnest desire to be heard that he hears us. He hears us on the basis of the redemption; only because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross are we able to approach God in prayer. If Jesus Christ has been formed inside us by spiritual rebirth, he will press forward in our minds and change our attitude about prayer. No longer will we be driven by commonsense concerns for our lives. No longer will we go to God to get our earthly desires met. We’ll go in order to get into perfect communion with him.

“Everyone who asks receives” (7:8). We pray pious nonsense, without putting our will into it. Then we say that God doesn’t answer our prayers. But we haven’t asked for anything! “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). Asking means willing ourselves to ask for those things which are in keeping with the God whom Jesus Christ revealed; if we are remaining in him, this is exactly what we’ll do. Whenever Jesus talked about prayer, he talked about it with the simplicity of a child. We complicate things and argue with God. We say, “Yes, Lord, but . . .” Jesus said, simply, “Ask.”

Wisdom from Oswald

The emphasis to-day is placed on the furtherance of an organization; the note is, “We must keep this thing going.” If we are in God’s order the thing will go; if we are not in His order, it won’t.  Conformed to His Image, 357 R