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O my dear friends and brethren every where! let all your cries and prayers be to the Lord in singleness of heart, in his spirit and <140> power, and in belief in God through Christ, to receive what ye pray for. For the Lord's ears are open to the cries of his poor and afflicted ones. So, day and night let your cries be to him [Psa 88:1], who will keep you in all distresses. For in your afflictions Christ is afflicted [Isa 63:9], and in all your oppressions he is oppressed, and in all your imprisonments he is imprisoned, and in all your sufferings he suffereth, and in all your persecutions he is persecuted. ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?’ said Christ [Acts 9:4]. And all Friends, keep out of the vain fashions of the world in your apparel, and run not after every new fashion the world inventeth and setteth up; keep in your plain fashion, that ye may judge the world's vanity and its spirit in its vain fashions, and show a constant spirit in the truth and plainness. And be moderate and chaste in all your families, and in all your imprisonments keep in the fast to the Lord [Phil 4:1, 1 Th 3:8?], which breaks down the bond of iniquity [Acts 8:23], by which every one's health groweth. And ye may also see, how Christ Jesus encourages to pray, Mark xiii. ‘Take ye heed, watch and pray; and what I say unto one, I say unto all, watch [Mark 13:33,37].’ And in Luke xi. 5.13. wherein he further encourages to pray, where Christ saith, ‘Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him. And he from within shall answer and say; trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed, I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, though he will not rise, and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.’ [Luke 11:5-10] And upon this Christ encourages to knock, pray, and seek. ‘For if a son shall ask bread of any of you, that is a Father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will be give him a scorpion? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy spirit to them that ask him. [Luke 11;11-13]’ And further he encourages to pray. Luke xviii. ‘He spake a parable unto them, that men ought always to pray, and not faint, saying, there was in a city a judge, that feared not God, neither regarded man. And there was a widow in that city, and she came to him, and said, avenge me of mine adversary; and he would not for awhile. But afterwards he said within himself, though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the <141> Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you, that he will avenge them speedily. [Luke 18:1-8]’ Here mind the promise of Christ, that doth not change, but will be fulfilled. And Christ distinguishes in a parable of a Pharisee, (who was a public praying man,) and of a Publican, that stood afar off, and cried for mercy; who being in the fear, was more justified than the Pharisee, who was in the public praying. [Luke 18:10-14] So, pray in the spirit [Eph 6:18] and in the faith, nothing wavering [James 1:6] nor doubting [1 Tim 2:8]. And seek and watch in the spirit, every one in your measures, that ye have received, and therein to be preserved; and Christ the life will open to you, and the spirit will give you an understanding, and a distinction of the state of ‘asking, and not receiving, and of seeking, and not finding, and the praying in the wavering and in the doubting,’ which is not in the spirit of God. But such ask in that nature which doubts, and would consume it on their lusts [Jas 4:3]. So, ask in faith, that gives the victory over the wavering, doubting nature [Jas 1:6/1 Jn 5:4]. And whatsoever ye ask believing, it will be given unto you; it is Christ's promise. John xiv. 13, 14. For Christ saith, ‘Whatsoever ye ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. [John 14:13-15]’ So, every one's prayers are assured unto them, and their requests effectual in their obedience, and loving Christ, and keeping his commandments. G. F.

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