|Sir Walter Scott|
All things are promised to prayer; and it is within the reach of all; like the atmosphere, essential and yet always available unless we put obstacles in the way. In spite of the fact that fresh bracing winds are blowing on land and sea — free for all to enjoy — a great many people die from want of sufficient oxygen. If fresh air is breathed, it cleanses and purifies the blood; and we have but to take measures to place ourselves within its sphere of influence by going out on mountain or ocean, and it does its work silently, imperceptibly, but surely. So with prayer. God’s presence and influence work even such purifying, exhilarating, elevating effects on our souls if we do not hinder that work by shutting out His influence; and, like pure air, His grace works silently, imperceptibly, but most efficaciously.
Turning to prayer is for the soul what going for a long walk on the mountains is to the body and its life. Our spiritual being, the supernatural, elevated, highest life of our soul, breathes deep draughts of nourishing, cleansing, strengthening air on God’s mountains. We frequent these glorious elevated solitudes so seldom and so unwillingly! We take our souls for long walks so rarely! Yet our soul needs these excursions if its life is to be vigorous; it needs the bracing views it gets from those spiritual heights, the buoyancy to be derived from that clear, clean atmosphere.
That is how saints thrive — by taking constant long walks of this kind; they live ever on the move, ever out on the mountains, shunning corrupted, tainted air like a pestilence — that is, the corrupted air of physical pleasures and sin. To them such exercise becomes an absolute need, just as to Sir Walter Scott, long rambles across mountains and moors were a necessity of his physical being, and to those glorious rambles, we owe his wonderful books. Just so, the spiritual pedestrian, the lover of spiritual mountain climbing, the soul that is ever dreaming of God’s heights where the blue heaven is so grand, gets the power of arresting men’s attention, of weaving into attractive forms the romance of God’s love, from these excursions in the realm of prayer.