Robert Murray McCheyne — I ought to pray before seeing anyone…

I ought to pray before seeing anyone.  Often when I sleep long, or meet with others early, it is eleven or twelve o’clock before I begin secret prayer.  This is a wretched system.  It is unscriptural.  Christ arose before day and went into solitary place.  David says:  “Early will I seek thee; Thou shalt early hear my voice.”  Family prayer loses much of its power and sweetness, and I can do no good to those who come to seek from me.  The conscience feels guilty, the soul unfed, the lamp not trimmed.  Then when I secure prayer the soul is often out of tune.  I feel it is far better to begin with God- to see his face first, to get my soul near him before it is near another.
Robert Murray McCheyne