A Sincere Prayer

[Lot said,] "I cannot escape to the hills, lest disaster overtake me and I die. Behold, this city is near enough to flee to. . .. Let me escape there."
GENESIS 19:19-20
A Sincere Prayer
This account serves to rouse and spur us on to prayer in all our dangers, since God wants to do what we want, provided that we humbly prostrate ourselves before Him and pray. In this way the Ninevites, to whom the prophet had announced even the day of their destruction, were saved. And in Scripture there are more evidences of this kind; they prove that God allows Himself to be prevailed upon and subordinates His will to ours. Why, then, are we so remiss in regard to prayer? Why are we without faith to such an extent and so fainthearted, as though our prayer amounted to nothing? Let the monks despair of their praying; they have no knowledge of God and are altogether without faith. Their prayer is not a sincere request; it is arduous toil and actually an empty sound. But as for ourselves, who have the knowledge of the Word, when we come together and bend our knees in true humility, we know—because we have been taught not only by the promises but also by examples—that God wants to disregard His own will and do ours. These facts must be earnestly impressed on the people and on us, lest the disposition to pray flag in us. To be sure, God does everything; but we, too, must do what belongs to our calling.
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