And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;…
If I venture for a moment to look into the reasons of these things, perhaps I might particularize the following: It is always in the indolent and grossser nature of man to prefer the present and the visible, to the future and the unseen. The heart gravitates to practical materialism as a stone gravitates to the ground. It is always a special act to make a man feel the invisible, live in the invisible. For in fact, all faith is miracle. And days of great science, such as these, are always likely to be days of proportionate un-belief-because the power of the habit of finding out more and more natural causes, is calculated, unless a man be a religious man, to make him rest in the cause he sees, and not to go on to that higher cause of which all the causes in this world, are, after all, only effects. And familiarity, too, with Divine things — which is a particular characteristic of our age, has in itself a tendency to sap the reverence, which is at the root of all faith. But still more, the character of the age we live in is a rushing selfishness. The race for money is tremendous; men are grown intensely secular; the facilities are increased, and with them, the covetousness. You are living under higher and higher pressure, and everything goes into extremes; all live fast. And the competition of business is Overwhelming, and the excitement of fashion intoxicating. How can "faith," which breathes in the shade of prayer and meditation — live in such an atmosphere as this? Let me just throw out one or two suggestions to you about faith. Remember "faith" is a moral grace, and not an intellectual gift. It lives among the affections; its seat is the heart. A soft and tender conscience is the cradle of faith; and it will live and die according to the life you lead. If you would have "faith," you must settle with yourself the authority, the supremacy, and the sufficiency of the Bible. Then, when you have done that, you will be able to deal with promises. Feed upon promises. We take the spiritual character of what we receive into our minds, just as the body assumes the nature of the food it eats. Act out the very little faith you have. Faith is a series of continual progression, and each fresh step is accompanied by a moral effort which reacts to make another. Take care that you are a man of meditative habit. There cannot be faith without daily, calm, quiet seasons of thought.
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;