A TEACHER was heard to pray earnestly in a teachers' meeting that the Lord would teach him the next day's lesson, enlighten his mind, fill his heart with zeal, and thoroughly fit him for his class duties, in order that he should be able to bring the knowledge of the truth to the souls of his scholars. The prayer in itself was one to which every teacher could say Amen. And yet, in the case of him who offered it, it was felt by some to be a waste of time and breath; for that teacher was one of those who habitually neglect the study of their lessons, and otherwise fail of preparation for their class work. He never visited his scholars at their homes. He took no more pains to become acquainted with his scholars than with his lesson. Why should his prayer be heard? It was the prayer of indolence, not of living, acting faith. Prayer is absolutely essential to a teacher's preparation; but hard work and faithful study are an essential evidence of that faith which makes prayer effectual. While it is true that however thoroughly the superintendent or teacher has otherwise prepared himself, if he has neglected prayer in his preparation, he will 'be still un-fitted for his duties; it is also true that, no matter how much and how fervently he prays, if he does no more than this, his preparation will still be imperfect and incomplete; for God does not put a lesson already studied into our minds while we are, asleep, nor use us merely as mechanical mouth-pieces through which to apply it to the hearts of the scholars. But he gives us the means, the gifts and opportunities for ascertaining, understanding, imparting, illustrating, and applying his truth. We are to diligently and prayerfully use these means. If we refuse to do this, the failure and sin are ours; and no amount of word-prayers will ever atone for our failure just here.




S. S. Times.