Monday, March 27, 2017

Warrack: the elements of prayer

Monday, March 27, 2017
Meditation:
    Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
    —Romans 8:26 (ESV)
Quotation:
    THE ELEMENTS OF PRAYER
    Its ground: God, by whose goodness it springeth in us.
    Its use: to turn our will to His will.
    Its end: to be made one with Him and like to Him in all things.
    ... Grace Harriet Warrack, in the introduction to Revelations of Divine Love, Juliana of Norwich, Methuen, 1901, p. lii (see the book)
    See also Rom. 8:26; Ps. 10:17-18; 130:1-6; John 17:20-21; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, make Your will known to me in prayer.
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Gossip: being honest with God

Sunday, March 26, 2017
    Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883
Meditation:
    Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
    —Luke 12:2 (ESV)
Quotation:
    Jeremy Taylor (q.v.) gives us some fundamental rules for prayer. And the chief of them is this: “Do not lie to God.” And that curt piece of advice, so bluntly thrown down for us, is indeed all-important. Do not burn false fire upon God’s altar; do not pose and pretend, either to Him or to yourself, in your religious exercises; do not say more than you mean, or use exaggerated language that goes beyond the facts, when speaking to Him whose word is truth.
    ... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), In the Secret Place of the Most High, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947, p. 26-27 (see the book)
    See also Luke 12:2; Ps. 40:10; Matt. 10:26; Mark 4:22; Luke 18:10-14; John 17:17; Rom. 1:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, silence my poses, my excuses, my posturing, and my rationalizations.
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Kates: lifting a hand in prayer

Saturday, March 25, 2017
    Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary
Meditation:
    I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone...
    —1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)
Quotation:
    In our praying, we should speak to God about Himself—that is praise; about His gifts—that is thanksgiving; about other people—that is intercession; about our sins—that is confession and penitence; about our needs—that is petition. Prayer has five fingers, like a hand, and each in turn must be pointed to God, that our prayer may be full and complete.
    ... Frederick Ward Kates (1910-1987), A Moment Between Two Eternities, New York: Harper & Row, 1965, p. 86 (see the book)
    See also 1 Tim. 2:1,8; 1 Pet. 2:9; Jas. 5:16; Jude 1:24; Rev. 14:7
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I lift my hands to you in prayer.
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Friday, March 24, 2017

Lewis: command performance

Friday, March 24, 2017
    Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
    Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953
Meditation:
    Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
    —Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
Quotation:
    I have called my material surroundings a stage set... In this I can act.
    And you may well say “act.” For what I call “myself” (for all practical, everyday purposes) is also a dramatic construction; memories, glimpses in the shaving glass, and snatches of the very fallible activity called “introspection,” are the principal ingredients. Normally I call this construction “me,” and the stage set “the real world.”
    Now the moment of prayer is for me—or involves for me as its condition—the awareness, the reawakened awareness, that this “real world” and “real self” are very far from being rock-bottom realities. I cannot, in the flesh, leave the stage, either to go behind the scenes or to take my seat in the pit; but I can remember that these regions exist. And I also remember that my apparent self—this clown or hero or super—under his grease-paint is a real person with an off-stage life. The dramatic person could not tread the stage unless he concealed a real person: unless the real and unknown I existed, I would not even make mistakes about the imagined me. And in prayer this real I struggles to speak, for once, from his real being, and to address, for once, not the other actors, but—what shall I call Him? The Author, for He invented us all? The Producer, for He controls all? Or the Audience, for He watches, and will judge, the performance?
    ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1964, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 80-81 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 12:1-2; Ps. 11:4; Jer. 17:10; 1 Cor. 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, uncover my hidden character and give me my true self, as You intended.
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Allshorn: the object of prayer

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Meditation:
    For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
    —Hosea 6:6 (KJV)
Quotation:
    The primary object of prayer is to know God better; we and our needs should come second.
    ... Florence Allshorn (1887-1950), The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn, London: SCM Press, 1957, p. 96 (see the book)
    See also Hos. 6:6; Prov. 1:7; Jude 1:20,21
Quiet time reflection:
    Teach me, Lord, to please You.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bernard: new wine

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Meditation:
    And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit...
    —Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)
Quotation:
    Prayer is a wine which makes glad the heart of man.
    ... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153)
    See also Eph. 5:18; Ps. 32; 104:14-15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I taste the ecstasy of Your Spirit’s touch.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chantal: ambition vs. prayer

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Meditation:
    But [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    —2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
Quotation:
    I have come to see that I do not limit my mind enough simply to prayer, that I always want to do something myself in it, wherein I do very wrong and wish most definitely to cut off and separate my mind from all that, and to hold it with all my strength, as much as I can, to the sole regard and simple unity. By allowing the fear of being ineffectual to enter into the state of prayer, and by wishing to accomplish something myself, I spoilt it all.
    ... Jeanne Françoise de Chantal (1572-1641)
    See also 2 Cor. 12:9-10; Matt. 6:6-13; 26:39; Acts 8:18-23; Rom. 8:35-39; 2 Cor. 4:8-10
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, drive all thought of self from my communion with You.
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