A praying life

29 10 2009

Last week on holidays I read a book on prayer called “A Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller. It was very stirring for my prayer life. Here are a couple of excerpts.

“To teach us how to pray, Jesus told stories of weak people who knew they couldn’t do life on their own. The persistent widow and the friend at midnight get access, not because they are strong but because they are desperate. Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life.

How desperate are you? The prayers of Jesus are cries of desperation:- “Father if you are willing take this cup from me”. “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”

“The gospel, God’s free gift of grace in Jesus, only works when we realise we don’t have it all together. The same is true for prayer. The very thing we are allergic to-our helplessness-is what makes prayer work. It works because we are helpless. We can’t do life on our own.”

“The great struggle of my life is not trying to discern God’s will, it is trying to discern and then disown my own. Once I see that, then prayer flows. I have to be praying because I’m no longer in charge. Either I see all of life as a gift, or  I demand that life have a certain look to it.”

What a great challenge to be praying like Jesus in desperation because we are weak and so desperate. What a great challenge to be praying ‘not my will, but yours be done.’ What a great challenge not to be praying God this is the decision ‘I’ have made in isolation from you and your people but guide me and lead me into your will through your Word and your people.


Nourishing quotes from Mueller

13 10 2009

According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, the Lord’s work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. This has been my firm and settled condition for the last five and thirty years. For the first four years after my conversion I knew not its vast importance, but now after much experience I specially commend this point to the notice of my younger brethren and sisters in Christ: the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God, having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God Himself.

But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How obtain such an all-sufficient soul-satisfying portion in him as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, This happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures. God has therein revealed Himself unto us in the face of Jesus Christ.

Now in brotherly love and affection I would give a few hints to my younger fellow-believers as to the way in which to keep up spiritual enjoyment. It is absolutely needful in order that happiness in the Lord may continue, that the Scriptures be regularly read. These are God’s appointed means for the nourishment of the inner man. . . .Consider it, and ponder over it. . . . Especially we should read regularly through the Scriptures, consecutively, and not pick out here and there a chapter. If we do, we remain spiritual dwarfs. I tell you so affectionately. For the first four years after my conversion I made no progress, because I neglected the Bible. But when I regularly read on through the whole with reference to my own heart and soul, I directly made progress. Then my peace and joy continued more and more. Now I have been doing this for 47 years. I have read through the whole Bible about 100 times and I always find it fresh when I begin again. Thus my peace and joy have increased more and more.