If we enter some profession, we find ourselves constantly faced by the need of persuading our clients and patients, witnesses, judges, juries, opposing counsel and court officers, our congregations and executive boards of our churches and schools, individual members of our parishes, our partners and assistants, and, in fact, people above us, below us, and all around us. The farmer must sell his produce, the manufacturer his manufactured article, the railroad its transportation service, wholesale and retail distributors their merchandise. Politics consists almost wholly in persuasion. A congressman must persuade first his party leaders and perhaps his competitor in the party; then the voters at the primaries; then the voters at the election; then the speaker of the House; then the members of his committee; then the President and many executives in the administration; then, perhaps, the House itself in assembly; then, in turn, his constituents and, perhaps, the entire nation.
Wealth cannot be gained, social position cannot be attained, honor conies not, power is impossible, authority is not conferred, pleasure cannot be purchased, a happy and harmonious human life cannot be realized, spiritual peace cannot be found, and happiness is forever beyond our reach, except through the power of persuasion. By persuasion in prayer, we attempt to move the very mind and heart of God Himself.
So all-inclusive is this power that if you will think the matter out clearly, you will see that the answer to the problem of every human being, diverse as these problems are, the gratification of every human desire, the realization of every human ambition, may be summed up in two brief colloquial injunctions, namely: first, have the goods; second, to be able to sell them. Neither one of these is complete without the other. No man can permanently succeed in any truly desirable way unless he has something tangible or intangible, spiritual, intellectual, or material which he can offer to others as compensation for that which he wishes to receive. And no matter how valuable any man’s offering, it must lie unnoticed in the world’s markets unless he can sell it—in other words, persuade others to exchange for it that which he desires. The thing he wants may be only an opinion or a conviction, may be only of momentary value, or it may be gold and silver coin.