Saint Alphonsus says: I HAVE already published several spiritual works, viz.: Visits to the blessed Sacrament, the Clock of the Passion of Jesus Christ, the Glories of Mary, a volume containing a Refutation of Materialism and Deism, and several small Treatises of Devotion, a Novena of the Nativity, which treats of the infancy of our Lord, a Book on the eternal maxims, entitled, a Preparation for Death, which contains a great deal of useful matter, for Sermons and Meditations, and also nine Discourses for the time of public calamities. But of all these works, I do t consider one more useful than this little book which treats of prayer as a secure and necessary means of obtaining salvation and all the graces necessary for it. Were it in my power, I would publish as many copies of this little work, as there are christians on earth, and would give to each a copy, that each might be convinced of the absolute necessity of prayer for salvation. I speak in this manner of this little treatise, because on the one hand, I see the absolute necessity of prayer so strongly inculcated in every page of holy writ, and in the writings of all the fathers, and on the other, I perceive that very few christians make use of that great means of salvation. What grieves me most, is, that though .there is practice on which preachers, confessors, or spiritual writers, should insist with greater warmth, or in stronger terms, than on that of prayer; still, I kw, that preachers seldom recommend it to their auditors, or confessors to their penitents, and that the spititual books most currently circulated amongst the people, do t sufficiently detail its advantages or inculcate its necessity. They indeed suggest many excellent means of preserving sanctifying grace, such as to avoid the occasions of sin, to frequent the sacraments, to resist temptations, to hear the word of God, to meditate on the truths of eternity, and other means; all of which are, I admit, most useful. But of what use, I ask, are sermons, meditations, and all the means proposed by masters of spiritual life, without prayer, when Jesus Christ has declared that he will grant his grace only to those who ask it. 'Ask, ' he says, 'and you shall receive.' In God's ordinary providence, all our meditations, and good purposes, and promises, will be fruitless without prayer. If we do Dot pray, we will be for ever unfaithful to all the inspirations of God's grace, and to all our own promises. Because, to do actual good, to overcome temptation, and to practise virtue; in a word, to observe all the divine precepts, the light which God pours into our souls, and the reflections and resolutions which we ourselves make, are insufficient. The actual assistance of God is moreover necessary, and, as we will immediately see, the Almighty grants this actual assistance to those only who pray, and persevere in prayer. The lights we receive, and our own considerations and good purposes, enable us actually to pray, when tempted to transgress the divine law, and by prayer, to obtain from God actual help, by which we will avoid sin. But if, in temptation, we do t pray, we shall be lost. Saint Alphonsus reminds us: The Pelagians erroneously asserted that Prayer is t necessary to obtain salvation.