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And he knows our ignorance too do not always know what to ask for, or what we really need, or what would be good

He “helpeth our infirmities,” puts thoughts and desires into us, guides our minds, inclines us to pray, turns us from vanity, and gives warmth to our cold petitions.

It would seem blessing enough, that I may pray, and that God has promised to hear

my Saviour's sake; but that He should himself help me to pray, this is wonderful indeed! We do not help a beggar to ask alms of us, or put words into the mouth of one who comes to ask a favour ; we leave them to tell their own tale. But God helps us even to ask of Him ; "the

" Spirit helpeth our infirmities.”

It is not long and eloquent prayers that the Spirit helps us to make. Sometimes indeed He does enable us to pour out our whole heart in words of prayer; but at other times He makes intercession for us with

groanings unspeakable, groanings which cannot be uttered. But even such prayers are not unheard. “ He that searcheth the hearts

knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because "—or rather, that—He maketh intercession for us according to the will of God.”

This help, O my God, I do humbly ask of Thee. Lord, help me to pray; may Thy Holy Spirit help my infirmities. “All my desire is before Thee; and my groaning is not hid from Thee.” May even my cries

. and groans to Thee be such as are taught by Thy Spirit; and, whether I am able to say many words to Thee or few, may all my words be under the Spirit's guidance,

I ask such things only as shall please Thee, and ask in a spirit that is according to Thy will. Let not sin mix itself in my prayers; let not the enemy have power to thrust in an unholy thought; let no doubt or unbelief find entrance ; let not my mind wander when I am before Thy throne of grace; let me not pray but with a full reliance on my Saviour's merits and mediation.

Thus, and in every other way that is needful, may Thy Holy Spirit, O my God, help my infirmities. Thus may I be enabled to pray to Thee in the Spirit.

and may



“My times are in Thy hand."-Psalm xxxi. 15.


Not “my time,” but “my times; the different times or periods of my life. All my time, even my whole life, is in Thy hand: but life is made up of different parts ; it has its times of sadness and times of joy, times of sickness and times of health; these differ greatly from one another, but they are all alike in this, that they are all in Thy hand, O my God; “My times are in Thy hand," all my times.

My present time is a time of sickness; it is only quite lately that my time was a time of health, I was strong and well; but my time of sickness is as much in the hand of God as my time of health was.

He gave me health, He now appoints for me sickness. Can I wish it otherwise ? Can I wish that He had continued the time of health, and not sent me this time of sickness ? Nature in me may answer, Yes; but would Nature be right? This would be to wish that my times were not in God's hand, but in my own; but, O my Father, I do not wish that. What mistakes I should make, if I were allowed to choose! How many evils should I run into blindfold! How many blessingsall the blessings of affliction--should I lose ! Doubtless, had I the choice, I should choose all health and no sickness, all joy and no sorrow; but that is not what God appoints; and He knows best: I rejoice therefore, O my Father, that

my times are in Thy hand;" I would not have it otherwise. .

My times. But a time means a space of time—so many hours, or days, or months, or years. My times are in God's hands in this sense, that He orders how long each time shall last. I had, by His mercy, a long time of uninterrupted good health ; but it pleased Him at length to break into it by

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this illness. I have now been long ill; and God sees good that my illness should still continue. This is not what I should have chosen; but “my times are in Thy hand.” They told me at first that I should soon be about again; but it is not so; my times are not in their hand, but in God's. They said that in so many weeks I should have quite recovered from my accident, yet here I am still : they did not know; my times are in God's hand, not theirs. If ever I feel disappointed, surely this ought to content me, that “my times are in Thy hand." I was better, but now I am not so well again ; I thought I was getting on bravely, but I am once more thrown back. Naturally, I cannot but be disappointed. Nevertheless

my times are in Thy hand." That time of amendment was of God; and so is this check. Each was one of “my times,” and there is not one of my times that is not in God's hand.

Some may call this fatalism, a sort of Mahometan or stoical putting up with what cannot be avoided. But it is no such thing,


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