Your Heartbeat or Your Weariness?
Devout souls delight to reflect upon those mercies that they have obtained in answer to prayer, for they can see God's special love in them. When we can name our blessings Samuel—that is, "asked of God"—they will be as dear to us as this child was to Hannah. Peninnah had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer. Hannah's one heaven-given child was far more precious, because he was the fruit of sincere pleadings. How sweet was the water that Samson found at "the spring of him who called."1
Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly sweet, when they are saved, to see in them our own petitions answered! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleadings than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we asked the Lord for some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us, it will be wrapped up in the golden cloth of God's faithfulness and truth and will be doubly precious. Have we sought success in the Lord's work? How joyful is the prosperity that comes flying on the wings of prayer!
It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way, by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer is not speedy, the blessings grow all the richer on account of the delay; the child Jesus was all the more lovely in the eyes of Mary when she found Him after having searched for Him. What we gain by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven; let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it, gratitude sang over it—let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, "Of Your own I have given to You." Reader, is prayer your heartbeat or your weariness? Which?
1Judges 15:19, margin
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.