Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Public Prayer a Holy Work

A selection from a letter by John Elias to his son about praying in public. The younger Elias requested spiritual counsel from his father for he had been asked to lead in public prayer. His father cautioned him to be watchful and exemplary. He believed that leading in prayer in the assembly of the Lord’s people a task not to be entered into lightly. The letter was written October 18, 1821.

Moreover, consider well carefully what is your own motive in such a great undertaking, especially when you feel some desires and propensity for it. Be very careful that you have no end in view for such a holy work, but to glorify the Lord. Besides, be assured that if you engage in such a public part of the service of God, it will be necessary for you to be more watchful and circumspect in all your conduct and conversation, such as becometh the Gospel of Christ; the more public we may be engaged in his service, the greater will be the dishonor we shall bring upon his cause if we should be inconsistent. If any one takes the place and work of an elder, he should have the spirit and conduct of such a person.

John Elias: Life, Letters and Essays, by Edward Morgan, first published in 1844, published by the Banner of Truth in 1973, pp. 208-09.

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