The past few weeks I went on a mental journey trudging through a few quotes by my friend John Owen. He spoke to my heart which the Lord has used to convict me and remind me often (I was reminded of his words today as I heard the Word preached). Owen told me that, a man on his knees before the Almighty God, that he is and that alone.

How true a statement? We can read comments, posters on a person's character all we want. One of these posters would say, "character is when no one is watching." The truth be told that God is always watching, and before God there are two responses - either spiteful rebellion or loving submission.

I like how Edward Payson says it, (taken from The Threshold)
"We may judge of 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 is 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 a 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. If a man begins to be impatient because his prayers for any blessings are not answered, it is a certain proof, that a self-righteous dependence on his own merits prevails in his heart to a great extent; for the language of impatience is, "I deserve the blessing: I had a right to expect that it would be bestowed, and it ought to have been bestowed ere this." It is evident that a man who feels that he deserves nothing, will never be impatient because he receives nothing; but will say, "I have nothing to complain of, I receive as much as I deserve." Again, when a man wonders, or thinks it strange, that he does not receive a blessing for which he has prayed, it shows he relies on his own own merits. The language of such feelings is, "It is very strange that I, who have prayed so well, and so long, and had so much reason to expect a blessing do not receive it." Persons who feel truly humble, on the contrary, are surprised, not when blessings are withheld, but when they are bestowed. It appears very strange and wonderful to them that God should bestow any favors on creatures, so unworthy as themselves, or pay and regard to prayers so polluted as their own. This is the temper to which every person must be brought before God will answer his prayers."