"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart" (Ps. 119:2).
Thursday, August 4. Was enabled to pray much, through the whole day; and through divine goodness found some intenseness of soul in the duty, as I used to do, and some ability to persevere in my supplications. I had some apprehensions of divine things that were engaging and which afforded me some courage and resolution. It is good, I find, to persevere in attempts to pray if I cannot pray with perseverence, that is, continue long in my addresses to the Divine Being. I have generally found that the more I do in secret prayer the more I have delighted to do, and have enjoyed more of a spirit of prayer; and frequently have found the contrary when with journeying or otherwise I have been much deprived of retirement. A seasonable, steady performance of secret duties in their proper hours, and a careful improvement of all time, filling up every hour with some profitable labor, either of heart, head, or hands, are excellent means of spiritual peace and boldness of access to God. But a good conscience void of offense is an excellent preparation for an approach into the divine presence.
There is a difference between self-confidence or a self-righteous pleasing of ourselves--as with our own duties, attainments, and spiritual enjoyments--which godly souls sometimes are guilty of, and that holy confidence arising from the testimony of a good conscience which good Hezekiah had when he says, "Remember, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart." Then, says the holy Psalmist, "shall I not be ashamed when I have respect to all thy commandments." Filling up our time with and for God is the way to rise up and lie down in peace.