THIS NOTICE WAS TO BE SEEN on the west pier at Newhaven, Sussex. It reminds some of us of the white flag which it was said General Gordon, the hero of Khartoum, placed outside his tent at certain times to show that he was at prayer and must on no account be disturbed. If you are a true Christian you will, like General Gordon, feel the need of prayer; prayer is one of the signs of a real work of grace in the heart. If you turn to the book of the Acts chapter 6 and verses I to 4, you will find the apostles telling the church in Jerusalem that they mean to give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Prayer for them, like the ministry of the Word, was a real work and, in the words of Hudson Taylor of China, real prayer like real work needs strength. Sometimes it is hard work and we are liable to get tired and give it up, but here as elsewhere ‘we shall reap, if we faint not’. To ‘faint’ in prayer is to stop praying, or to stop expecting answers to our prayers.
So, young Christian, keep on praying, even when you do not feel like it. The only way to learn to pray is – to do it. Here theories will not do; we must do it. If you can get alone for your quiet time in the morning, so much the better. Shin the door light, and although you cannot very well put up a notice against people disturbing you while you talk to God in prayer, do remember the warning on Newhaven Pier and act upon ii. While you are praying you are doing very important business with God – you are working on your knees.