Prayer, when we are faithful to it and practice it at regular times, slowly leads us to an experience of rest and opens us to God’s active presence.
We would not have any think that the value of their prayers is to be measured by the clock, but our purpose is to impress on our minds the necessity of being much alone with God; and that if this feature has not been produced by our faith, then our faith is of a feeble and surface type.
To be prayerless is to be without God, without Christ, without grace, without hope, and without heaven.
James Charles J. C. Ryle
Some people become tired at the end of ten minutes or half an hour of prayer. What will they do when they have to spend Eternity in the presence of God? We must begin the habit here and become used to being with God.
There is also a modification of prayer, which may be termed the prayer of silence. This is a prayer too deep for words. The common form of silent prayer is voluntary. In the prayer of contemplative silence, the lips seem to be closed almost against the will.
We cannot make up for failure in our devotional life by redoubling energy in service. We shall never take people beyond our own spiritual attainment.
Let none expect to have the mastery over his inward corruption in any degree, without going in weakness again and again to the Lord for strength. Nor will prayer for others, or conversing with the brethren, make up for secret prayer.
When therefore the first spark of a desire after God arises in thy soul, cherish it with all thy care, give all thy heart into it; it is nothing less than a touch of the divine loadstone, that is to draw thee out of the vanity of time, into the riches of eternity. Get up therefore, and follow it as gladly as the wise men of the east followed the star from heaven that appeared to them. It will do for thee as the star did for them, it will lead thee to the birth of Jesus, not in a stable at Bethlehem in Judea, but to the birth of Jesus in the dark centre of thine own soul.
Most of us are more comfortable celebrating what Jesus has done than accepting who He desires to be to us. We sing of His victories and teach of His mercies, yet rarely do we quiet our hearts and surrender to His Presence. We want Him near enough to protect us, but not so close that we are conscious of His Presence.
When alone with God, be alone with Him. Begin in silence. Speak with simplicity. Listen in meekness. Never leave without a conscious season of real communion. We have not to persuade God, but He has to discipline and prepare us.