Our "thoughts" for this week have to do with prayer. More than that they have to do with unbroken prayer. Uninterrupted prayer. Unceasing prayer. The very thing Paul admonishes us to do when he tells us to "Pray without ceasing."
They are taken from David M'Intyre's superb little booklet: "The Hidden Life of Prayer." Enjoy!
"It has been said of Origen (in his own words) that his life was 'one unceasing supplication.' By this means above all others the perfect idea of the Christian life is realized. Intercourse between the believer and his Lord ought never to be interrupted."
"In our mutual communion and conversation--amidst all the busiest scenes of our pilgrimage--we may be moving to and fro on the rapid wing of prayer, of mental prayer--the prayer that lays the whole burden of the heart on a single sigh. A sigh breathed in the Spirit, though inaudible to all around us but God, may sanctify every conversation, every event in the history of the day. We must have fellowship at all times either with the spirit of the world or with the Spirit of God... Prayer will be fatiguing to flesh and blood if uttered aloud and sustained long. Oral prayer, and prayer mentally ordered in words (though not uttered aloud), no believer can engage in without ceasing. But there is an undercurrent of prayer that may run continually under the stream of our thoughts, and never weary us. Such prayer is the silent breathing of the Spirit of God, who dwells in our hearts. It is the temper and habit of the spiritual mind. It is the pulse of our life which is hidden with Christ in God."
"My mind was greatly fixed on Divine things: almost perpetually in the contemplation of them. I spent most of my time in thinking of Divine things, year after year; often walking alone in the woods, and solitary places, for meditation, soliloquy, and prayer, and converse with God: and it was always my manner to sing forth my contemplations. I was almost constantly in ejaculatory prayer, wherever I was. Prayer seemed to be as natural to me as the breath by which the inward burnings of my heart had vent."
"I see that unless I keep up short prayer every day throughout the whole day, at intervals, I lose the spirit of prayer."
The key to sustaining the 'spirit of prayer' is never to leave prayer! Not audible, mentally ordered prayer as Hewiston notes, but simply "an undercurrent of prayer that runs continually under the stream of our thoughts" throughout the day. It is to have thoughts of God, and divine things; thoughts of Christ, His kingdom and our calling to live for His glory running in the background of our minds while in the foreground we attend to the necessary things of life. It is, says M'Intyre, to have "our hearts so steadfastly inclined to God that our thoughts turn to Him, as by Divine instinct, whenever they are set free from the consideration of earthly things."
In Christ, Pastor Jeff
Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans