Thursday, October 22, 2009

When It's Hard to Pray

Elisabeth Elliot's writings almost always strike a nerve for me, what follows are her thoughts from Keep a Quiet Heart:

Be Honest With God

Since God knows our thoughts even before we think them, isn't it absurd of us to hesitate to tell Him the straight truth about ourselves? When we feel we ought to try to cover our spiritual nakedness it is good for us to open up Psalm 139: "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.... You perceive my thoughts from afar.... You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.... You created my inmost being" (Psalm 139:1-4,13, NIV).

There are times when I hesitate even to pray, knowing how far short I fall from God's standard.

George MacDonald writes:

"If I felt my heart as hard as a stone; if I did not love God, or man, or woman, or little child, I would yet say to God in my heart, 'O God, see how I trust Thee, because Thou art perfect, and not changeable like me. I do not love Thee. I love nobody. I am not even sorry for it. Thou seest how much I need Thee to come close to me, to put Thy arm round me, to say to me, MY CHILD: for the worse my state, the greater my need of my Father who loves me. Come to me, and my day will dawn; my love will come back, and, oh! how I shall love Thee, my God! and know that my love is Thy love, my blessedness Thy being.'"

We may pray the prayer that closes Psalm 139: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV).

"Be persuaded, timid soul," writes Archbishop Fenelon, in his SPIRITUAL LETTERS TO WOMEN, "that He has loved you too much to cease loving you."


  1. WOW. "I am not even sorry."

    Thanks for posting this.

  2. This kind of transparency is so necessary and freeing before God. That, of all people, George Macdonald would articulate it - gives such liberty. Knowing that once again, we don't change before we worship, we are changed BECAUSE we worship, as Jesus said "in spirit and in TRUTH."