a continual strife: prayer

Posted in faith

A piece of David Brainerd’s diary contained the words I wrote in my journal, followed by these,

My soul felt a pleasing yet painful concern, lest I should spend time with God. Oh, may I always live to God! I felt an ardent desire to spend every moment with God. God is unspeakably gracious to me continually. In time past, He has given me inexpressible sweetness in the performance of duty [prayer]…. When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable.

I have come to realize that my prayer often is ‘just give me Jesus.’ In Jesus is everything. In the presence of God is all. I long to be filled with more of God. I’ve come to find that nothing will do but being continually filled with the divine presence and glory. I want to feel that close union to the Lord. I believe, Jesus, help my unbelief.

Prayer. This is the means of continual union with God. 

Jonathan Edwards, a great man of prayer, said this,

Resolved, to exercise myself in this all my life long, with the greatest openness to declare my ways to God, and to lay my soul open to God–all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and everything and every circumstance.

He claims later that it was his continual strife day and night, and his constant inquiry how he should be more holy.

The heaven I desire is a heaven spent with God; an eternity spent in the presence of divine love, and in holy communion with Christ.

It’s all about God.

Prayer in comfort and peace, in solitude, with God… my Company, my Friend, my Comforter. In solitude is the difficult part for me.  Time and space away from the busy haunts of those around me, to venture into a seemingly lonely place, like Jesus often did in the Bible, to meditate and pray and experience the presence of God.

Prayer puts God’s work in His hands, and keeps it there. It looks to Him constantly and depends on Him implicitly to further His own cause. Prayer is but faith resting in, acting with, and leaning on and obeying God. Prayer is revealed as a direct application to God for some temporal or spiritual good. It is an appeal to God to intervene in life’s affairs for the good of those for whom we pray. God is recognized as the source and fountain of all good, and prayer implies that all His good is held in His keeping for those who call upon Him in truth. (E.M. Bounds, The Weapon of Prayer)

How easy it is to slip away from the closet of prayer! It’s easy for me, anyway. Right things, good things are never hindrances until they preoccupy my mind and draw my feelings away from prayer. Things right and good can become wrong when they take the place of prayer in my life. That’s how powerful prayer is, and I am convicted that I don’t treat it as such so often.

I have been challenged to look at what in my life is hurting my life of prayer.

But I feel the yearning of my soul for that closest, that place of solitude, to experience God. 

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