Augustine taught me many things in this book. And one that is very important is how living the Christian life means thinking in the light of the ScripAugustine taught me many things in this book. And one that is very important is how living the Christian life means thinking in the light of the Scriptures and in prayer. Augustine had many important questions, many ideas to wrestle with, many struggles, but he didn't hide them. He laid down each one of them before God in prayer and with the Scriptures open.
Augustine also taught me how in the process of thinking and coming to our own conclusions and views on theological matters, we must never assume that we have it all down. He was constantly asking God to correct him if he had something wrong, to guide him to all Truth, to deliver him from the errors he had, and even to forgive him for the things he was believing that were against the Scripture and he could not yet see clearly.
This book is beautiful, and if you have not read it, you should. ...more
A few of the many wonderful quotes that will always challenge me:
"We do not drift into spiritual life; we do not drift into disGreat book on prayer.
A few of the many wonderful quotes that will always challenge me:
"We do not drift into spiritual life; we do not drift into disciplined prayer. We will not grow in prayer unless we plan to pray." (p.1)
"Our generation certainly needs to learn something more about persistence in prayer..." (p.18)
"If you are serious about reforming your prayer life, you must begin with your heart. Unconfessed sin, nurtured sin, will always be a barrier between God and those he has made in his image." (p.57)
"If you are too busy to pray, you are too busy. Cut something out." (p.94)
"Wherever we stand in the spectrum of Christian maturation, we could do better than we do, and many of us could do much better. One of the most important steps we can take is to recognize where we are." (p.104)
"[Christianity] invokes mystery now and then; it does not invoke nonsense." (p.135)
I remember it was about 4 years ago that I learned to pray the Bible, and my prayer life changed forever. I don't remember from whom exactly I learnedI remember it was about 4 years ago that I learned to pray the Bible, and my prayer life changed forever. I don't remember from whom exactly I learned to do that; maybe it was Luther or was it Matthew Henry? Or maybe John Piper? I don't recall, but I can attest that praying the Bible can transform your prayer life significantly.
I am so very glad that D.S Whitney has taken the time to write this book. And I want to recommend it to all of you who are struggling in your prayer life, that don't know how to pray, and pray well. It is short and super practical.
Note: If you think that you are already praying the Bible because you add a few verses here and there to make your prayers more "powerful," then you need to read this book SOON.
Only God can "rate" our prayers (in case you are wondering why I didn't rate it).
I honestly hope Flannery O'Connor would have not mind to know that heOnly God can "rate" our prayers (in case you are wondering why I didn't rate it).
I honestly hope Flannery O'Connor would have not mind to know that her prayer journal was published, and that I read it.
Some further thoughts in case you love her and would love to read this journal:
The Introduction by W.A. Sessions I can rate, so I give it 2 stars. I very much disliked that the author tries to say that O'Connor was "universal" and that she wrote these letters to a "presence" she "generally named God."
O'Connor was a Roman Catholic so there are a few prayers to Mary. However, it is interesting to note that she seemed to know that only God could help her.
Some of my favorite quotes:
"I do not wish to presume. I want to love."
"...give me a strong Will to be able to bend it to the Will of the Father."
"Please let Christian principles permeate my writing and please let there be enough of my writing (published) for Christian principles to permeate."
"Don't let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story- just like the typewriter was mine."
"Help me to ask You, oh Lord, for what is is good for me to have, for what I can have and do your service by having."
"Meet him first in the day, before you meet other people."
"The first moments of the new day are not the time for our own plans and worries, not even f"Meet him first in the day, before you meet other people."
"The first moments of the new day are not the time for our own plans and worries, not even for our zeal to accomplish our own work, but for God’s liberating grace, God’s sanctifying presence."
"Before our daily bread should be the daily Word. Only thus will the bread be received with thanksgiving."
"I can be certain that there is no life situation for which God’s Word will not speak the necessary direction. But it requires earnest attentiveness, tireless questioning and study in order to perceive the right commandment and thus be able to recognize the inexhaustible goodness of God in all his commandments."
"Do I forget to eat and drink and sleep? Why do I forget God’s Word? Because I am not yet able to say with the psalmist: “My delight is in your statutes.” I never forget that in which I delight. To forget or not is a matter not only of the mind but of the whole person, including the heart. That on which my life and soul depend I cannot forget."
"The giving of thanks can only begin when the gift of the divine Word is acknowledged; indeed, only when I am immersed in the study of the divine Word. How could one begin to give thanks to God and not concern oneself with his Word? What kind of thanks would it be to receive the gifts but refuse the required obedience to the giver? It would be a pagan thanksgiving, which is indeed widely practiced. That is not a giving of thanks to the Lord God, but rather to an impersonal fate or fortune to which I am in no way obligated. Thanks to God that does not proceed from an obedient heart is presumption and falsehood. Only when God’s revealed Word has made our heart want to obey him can we thank God for earthly and heavenly gifts..."
"I thank God because I want to learn and know what he requires of me, but I thank him as one who is still only learning, who still lacks everything when measured by God’s righteous judgments. So thanksgiving leads me back to the giving God and then forward to the commanding God, in order finally to find in him his righteousness, which I experience anew as righteousness given to me. “Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:24)."