Posts Tagged ‘prayer’


For, as for my heart, when I go to pray, I find it so loth to go to God, and when it is with him, so loth to stay with him, that many times I am forced in my prayers, first to beg of God that he would take mine heart, and set it on himself in Christ, and when it is there, that he would keep it there. Nay, many times I know not what to pray for, I am so blind, nor how to pray, I am so ignorant; only, blessed be grace, the Spirit helps our infirmities (Psa 86:11). – John Bunyan

When I read that, I knew it sounded familiar. I had just read something very similiar in J. Oswald Sanders’ book Spiritual Leadership:

“When I go to prayer,” confessed an eminent Christian, “I find my heart so loath to go to God, and when it is with Him, so loath to stay.” Then self-discipline has a role. “When you feel most indisposed to pray, yeild not to it,” he counseled, “but strive and endeavor to pray, even when you think you cannot.” – Sanders, p. 86

At any rate, Sanders & Bunyan are right, prayer is work. It is hard to get started and hard to remain in once it has been started. Bunyan’s perspective, which didn’t come through so clearly in Sanders, is that without the Spirit, we cannot pray. We don’t know how we should pray, we don’t know what to pray for and without the Spirit, our prayers cannot be acceptable to God any way. Even then, it is still a difficult thing. I needed to remember this to spur me on to struggle into prayer more regularly.