About Providence, Divine Action and the Church

In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Do you want to pray better?

The Godward movement [of prayer] has many aspects. It includes the use of mind and imagination which we call meditation, it includes the counting of God’s mercies which we call praise and thanksgiving, and self-abasement which we call confession. But try to think of it more simply: it means putting yourself near God, with God, in a time of quietness every day. You put yourself with him just as you are, in the feebleness of your concentration, in your lack of warmth and desire, not trying to manufacture pious thoughts or phrases. You put yourself with God, empty perhaps, but hungry and thirsty for him; and if in sincerity you cannot say that you want God you can perhaps tell him that you want to want him; and if you cannot say even that perhaps you can say that you want to want to want him! Thus you can be very near him in your naked sincerity; and he will do the rest, drawing out from you longings deeper than you knew were there and pouring into you a trust and a love like that of the psalmist—whose words may soon come to your lips. Forgive me for putting this so clumsily. I am trying to say that you find you are “with God” not by achieving certain devotional exercises in his presence but by daring to be your own self as you reach towards him.

Michael Ramsey, The Christian Priest Today, rev. ed. (London: SPCK, 1985; 1st ed. 1972), pp. 14–15, emphasis original

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