The Price of Prayer

By T. C. Horton (1848-1932)

While prayer is the simplest thing in the world, it is also the costliest; and while it is the easiest thing in the world, it is also the most difficult.

In prayer, we approach the very throne of God. Access to God is easier than access to an earthly sovereign, the President of the United States, or even to the head of some great financial or industrial concern, for from God we have the invitation: “Come unto me and I will give you rest”; “Ask and it shall be given you”; “Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I” and many other like invitations, exhortations and even supplications from God to come into His presence.

But, on the other hand, there are barriers to our approach. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psa. 76:18). “Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss” (Jas. 4:8). If God answered our prayers without regard to our attitude toward Him He would not be a faithful God nor a true God. A mere profession or right relationship will not do. It must be real.

Prayer is an investment given to us by God, not to be used for selfish purposes but for His glory. The church is a great corporation of which every member of His body is a representative. We have an obligation to our fellow members and a lost world, and this service is of the highest character, involving, as it does, the glory of the Godhead itself.

God keeps books, and He expects us to bear this in mind. Many a saint has lost valuable interest because of careless business dealings with God. Should not our hearts leap with joy at the thought that it is possible for us to do great things through prayer? We can circle the globe. We can carry on our hearts the needs of the whole world. We can feel the throbbing heart of sin-striken sorrowing, suffering people everywhere and can lift our hearts in prayer to God on their behalf. We can develop a tender, loving interest in people whom we may never meet personally here, but whom we may meet “over there.” We can move from the confines of our little life into a great, broad, worldwide prayer life and have a wondrous joy, unknown to many, if we will.

Such a vision is inspiring to our minds, but if it is ever to reach our hearts and dominate them, we must hear the call and “pay the price” which seems so large and which means sacrifice, but which will prove to be a glad and gracious privilege when the necessary sacrifice of time and other interests is freely made.