Today I'm reflecting on prayer. What a mystery it is! And prayer is what we'll look at this week here at A Branch in the Vine. In the meantime, I'd like to share some meditation-provoking thoughts on prayer. Please jump in and share your thoughts, quotes, favorite Scriptures, etc in the comment section.
The first thought I read in a book I bought for a quarter at an estate sale. This quote was nestled in the middle of a treasure of a book called Leaves of Gold, c1938:
"Prayer in its simplest definition is merely a wish turned God-ward." Phillips Brooks (And I might add, "...a thought turned God-ward." Has that happened to you? It has to me, many times)
Here are some others...you are free to weigh in, if you'd like!
"Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness." Martin Luther.
"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God." Brother Lawrence
"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties." Oswald Chambers
"...True prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length." C. H. Spurgeon
"If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ." C. H. Spurgeon
"The essence of prayer does not consist in asking God for something but in opening our hearts to God, in speaking with Him, and living with Him in perpetual communion. Prayer is continual abandonment to God. Prayer does not mean asking God for all kinds of things we want; it is rather the desire for God Himself, the only Giver of Life, Prayer is not asking, but union with God. Prayer is not a painful effort to gain from God help in the varying needs of our lives. Prayer is the desire to possess God Himself, the Source of all life. The true spirit of prayer does not consist in asking for blessings, but in receiving Him who is the giver of all blessings, and in living a life of fellowship with Him." Sadhu Sundar Singh
"Prayer does not influence God. Prayer surely does influence God. It does not influence His purpose. It does influence His action." S.D. Gordon [This one messes with my mind a bit. How about you?]
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing... If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:5,7-8 ESV