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The Unused Key

“A key rusteth that is seldom turned in the lock.”

It becomes hard work to stir it, for it becomes rusted into its place. Neglect of prayer makes prayer become hard work, whereas it should be a privilege and a delight. We cannot restrain prayer, and yet enjoy prayer. Frequency in this matter helps fervor, and constancy in it brings out the comfort of it.
Am I becoming slack in devotion? O Lord, forgive me, and save me from this grave neglect before it begins to eat into my soul and corrode my heart!

Charles H. Spurgeon
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Paradox of Humility

God is on high, and yet the higher you lift up yourself, the farther you are from Him; the lower you humble yourself, the nearer He draws to you. Low things He looks close upon, that He may raise them: proud things He knows afar off, that He may depress them. The proud Pharisee pressed as near God as he could: the poor publican, not daring to do so, stood afar off; yet was God far from the Pharisee, near to the publican.

Augustine
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Communion with God in Prayer

It is, therefore, by the benefit of prayer that we reach those riches which are laid up for us with the Heavenly Father. For there is a communion of men with God by which, having entered the heavenly sanctuary, they appeal to him in person concerning his promises in order to experience, where necessity so demands, that what they believed was not vain, although he had promised it in word alone. Therefore we see that to us nothing is promised to be expected from the Lord, which we are not also bidden to ask of him in prayers.

John Calvin, Institutes, 3.20.2

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2 Reasons to Pray

First, that our hearts may be inflamed with continual fear, honor, and love of God, to whom we run for support and help whensoever danger or necessity requires; that we so learning to [make known] our desires in His presence, He may teach us what is to be desired, and what not.

Second, that we, knowing our petitions to be granted by God alone (to Him only we must render and give laud and praise), and that we, ever having His infinite goodness fixed in our minds, may constantly abide to receive that which with fervent prayer we desire.

John Knox, “A Treatise on Prayer,” in Select Writings, 75.
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The Perfect Law

The perfect law of God requires only this: complete love without the least defect—all the heart, all the soul, and all the might. A corrupt grain makes the whole unacceptable, as one condition not observed forfeits the whole lease, though all the rest be kept. … We are bound to strive after [this perfect law] … We cannot arrive to the perfectness of the glorified estate, but we are pressing towards it. Allowed failings cannot stand with sincerity … he that cares not how little God be loved, provided he may be saved, does not sincerely love God. A true Christian will endeavour a constant progress, and aim at no less than perfection. Christians, this is still your rule, all the heart and all the soul, and all the might. The Lord has such a full right to your love, that coldness is a kind of a hatred, and the grace which we received in conversion will urge us to it … The whole latitude of understanding, will, and affections is due to Him, without division or derivation to other things.

Thomas Manton (Works 13:171)