The battle of prayer is against two things in the earthlies: wandering thoughts and lack of intimacy with God's character as revealed in His word. Neither can be cured at once, but they can be cured by discipline.
If I am walking along the street with a very disfiguring hole in the back of my dress, of which I am in ignorance, it is certainly a very great comfort to me to have a kind friend who will tell me of it. And similarly it is indeed a comfort to know that there is always abiding with me a divine, all-seeing Comforter, who will reprove me for all my faults, and will not let me go on in a fatal unconsciousness of them.
Threatening our children or employees is evidence of a lack of true authority. The rewards and penalties should already be clear, and if there is disobedience, discipline should be administered the first time, not further threatening. If we have to threaten to compel our children or anyone else that we are in charge of to obey us, then somehow it has already been established that our "yes" did not really mean "yes," and our "no" did not really mean "no."
Whirled from off our feet by a revival, carried aloft by popularity, exalted by success in soul-winning, we should be as the chaff which the wind driveth away, were it not that the gracious discipline of mercy breaks the ships of our vainglory with a strong east wind, and casts us shipwrecked, naked and forlorn, upon the Rock of Ages.
Author: Charles Spurgeon Source: The Minister's Fainting Fits, Lectures to My Students, Lecture XI, 1856.