Science And Prayer -- By: William W. Kinsley

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 049:194 (Apr 1892)
Article: Science And Prayer
Author: William W. Kinsley


Science And Prayer

William W. Kinsley

I HAVE thus far endeavored to show—

1. How God may interfere whenever he chooses;

2. That there are incontestable evidences, and multitudes of them along down the centuries, that he has thus actually interfered;

3. That we are warranted in believing that we, each one of us, the humblest and most obscure, are of sufficient consequence to attract his attention and secure this his direct interference; and

4. That he will interfere because we ask him, doing for us what otherwise he would not have done.

There is left for me now but one other general affirmation to make. With its explanation and proof I believe I shall have presented the subject in all its essential phases. It is this: Every reasonable prayer offered in a right spirit is certain of favorable answer. This is the clear import of Christ’s comprehensive promise to his disciples, as recorded in Matthew, “All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive,” or as Mark states it, “Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” If we interpret these passages in the light of the context and of the general trend of Christ’s teachings, we cannot but conclude that Christ premised in his promise that the prayers should be reasonable

and that they should be offered in the right spirit. No petitioner who complies with these two conditions need ever fear failure.

To have our prayers reasonable, we should, in the first place, guard against asking for anything which we can procure by our own exertions, making use of the resources of physical and mental strength, of social ties and general surroundings already in reach. God is a strict economist. If he has already made ample provisions in his general providence, and if we ourselves can by proper industry discover and utilize this provision, we ought not to expect from him any further help by special act. We must exhaust our own means first, and ask him simply to supplement our weakness and insufficiency. Otherwise we would be asking not only for what God has really already bestowed,—and bestowed in a way which he thought would do us the greatest and most lasting good,—but for what, if granted again in this more direct manner, would prove to us a positive bane, and not a blessing; and if such a course were continued, all incentive to industry and enterprise would thus be taken away, physical and mental sloth would succeed to healthful, growth-promoting activity, abject timidity and feeling of dependence would take the place of a manly spirit of self-reliance. No wise paren...

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