Many who do come into the secret place, and who are God’s children, enter it and leave it just as they entered, without ever so much as realizing the presence of God. And there are some believers who, even when they do obtain a blessing, and get a little quickening of soul, leave the secret place without seeking more. They go to their chamber, and there get into the secret place, but then, as soon as they have got near to Him, they think they have been peculiarly blessed, and leave their chamber, and go back into the world… Oh, how is it that the Lord’s own people have so little perseverance? How is it that when they do enter into their place of prayer to be alone, they are so easily persuaded to be turned away empty; instead of wrestling with God to pour out His Spirit, they retire from the secret place without the answer, and submit to it as being God’s will.
That great saint of the 17th Century, Mme Jeanne Guyon, encouraged people to ‘pray the Scriptures’. She said that ‘praying the Scriptures’ was not judged by how much was read, but by the way it was read. She said that reading quickly was like ‘a bee skimming the surface of a flower, but ‘praying the Scriptures’ was like the bee penetrating into the depths of the flower to remove the deepest nectar.
It’s so easy to get distracted by the “noise” of the world around me – especially with all the craziness of our current world. There is so much happening that screams for our attention! I often have to consciously work at being still – even when I’m physically weak. But, when I quieten all the other voices, I love hearing His precious whispers!
I don’t know about you, but I need to hear His holy whispers into my heart more than ever before. I can’t make it without Him. I need His love, His care, His guidance, His peace. I am so, so grateful that God speaks to me!
There should be at least a room, or some corner where no one will find you and disturb you or notice you. You should be able to untether yourself from the world and set yourself free, loosing all the fine strings and strands of tension that bind you, by sight, by sound, by thought, to the presence of other men. Once you have found such a place, be content with it, and do not be disturbed if a good reason takes you out of it. Love it, and return to it as soon as you can, and do not be too quick to change it for another.
Prayer wakes us up with mercies from God that are “new every morning” (Lam. 3:23). Prayer is how we start to stretch and feel limber again, feel loose, ready to take on the world. And when we start applying prayer to particular muscle groups—like our confidence in Christ and His victory over our past—our whole body and our whole being start to percolate with fresh energy, with the blood-pumping results of applied faith.
We stand humbly in the counsels of God Incarnate, the God who became human in the first century Jewish and Roman and Greek world, so that we can then stand boldly in the face of our world. And that we can share the saving, rescuing, healing, new creative love of the one God revealed in Jesus in the Spirit.