09, August 2010

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Fénelon’s Formula for Prayer

‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.’ Jeremiah 29:13 NIV

Is your prayer life consistent? Is it rich and rewarding? Do you see measurable growth in it? If not, François Fénelon, a 17th–century Frenchman, tells us how to pray and get results. It’s a tried and true formula worth following:
‘Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles that He may comfort you; tell Him your longings that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes that He may help you conquer them; tell Him your temptations that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your soul that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved taste for evil, your instability. Tell Him how self–love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride hides you from yourself and from others. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs and troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject, for it is continually being renewed.
People who have no secrets from each other never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words for there is nothing to be held back. Neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of their heart. Without consideration, they simply say just what they think. When they ask, they ask in faith, confident that they will be heard. Blessed are those who attain such familiar, unreserved communication with God.’

SoulFood: 1 Pet 1–5, Luke 12:13–21, Ps 119:25–32, Pr 17:11–15

09, August 2010

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