Robert Murray M’Cheyne once wrote, “A man is what he is on his knees before God, and nothing more.”
When Martin Luther's puppy happened to be at the table, he looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes. Luther said, "Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope."
Edward Payson (1783-1827) said:
“We may judge the state of our hearts by the earnestness of our prayers. You cannot make a rich man beg like a poor man; you cannot make a man that is full cry for food like one that is hungry: no more will a man who has a good opinion of himself, cry for mercy like one who feels that he is poor and needy.
The symptoms of spiritual decline are like those which attend the decay of bodily health. It generally commences with loss of appetite, and disrelish for spiritual food, prayer, reading the Scriptures, and devotional books. Whenever you perceive these symptoms, be alarmed, for your spiritual health is in danger; apply immediately to the great Physician for a cure.
The best means of keeping near to God is the prayer closet. Here the battle is won or lost.
It appears very strange and wonderful that God should bestow any favors on creatures, so unworthy as ourselves, or pay any regard to prayers so polluted as our own.”