Hannah Whitall Smith penned these words July 6, 1859. Her subject was on prayer.
I want to realize the simplicity of prayer. I don’t dare look at it as a religious exercise, but rather as a child’s going to a father to get what is needed in answer to prayer.
When we love earthly friends we are not satisfied with only a few minutes together at a time, nor can we learn to know their real character, or appreciate the depths of their nature, if we only have a few passing words with them as we go about our daily routine, even if those passing words should occur every few minutes. Neither can we know God in this way.
How often we say about our earthly friends “I really would like to have a good quiet settled talk with them so that I can really get to know them.” And shouldn’t we feel the same about our Heavenly Friend, that we may really get to know Him?
These thoughts have taught me the importance of the children of God taking time to commune daily with their Father, so that they may get to know His mind, and to understand better what His will is.
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).