The Necessity of Prayer – Prayer and Desire – EM Bounds

“Desire is not merely a simple wish; it is a deep seated craving; an intense longing, for attainment.”

“Prayer is the expression of desire.”

“Desire is silent. Prayer is heard; desire, unheard. The deeper the desire, the stronger the prayer. Without desire, prayer is a meaningless mumble of words.”

“And yet even if it be discovered that desire is honestly absent, we should pray, anyway. We ought to pray. The “ought” comes in, in order that both desire and expression be cultivated… We should pray for desire; then, when desire has been given, we should pray according to its dictates. Lack of spiritual desire should grieve us.”

“A sense of need creates or should create, earnest desire… The “poor in spirit” are eminently qualified to pray.”

“These heaven-given appetites are the proof of a renewed heart, the evidence of a stirring spiritual life. Physical appetites are the attributes of a living body, not of a corpse, and spiritual desires belong to a soul made alive to God. And as the renewed soul hungers and thirst after righteousness, these holy, inward desires break out into earnest, supplicating prayer.”

“Desire is the will in action.”

“One might well ask, whether the feebleness of our desires for God, the Holy Spirit, and for all the fullness of Christ, is not the cause of our so little praying, and of our languishing in the exercise of prayer? Do we really feel these inward pantings of desire after heavenly treasures? Do the inbred groanings of desire stir our souls to mighty wrestlings? Alas for us! The fire burns altogether too low.”

“God Himself is all on fire, and his church, if it is to be like him, must also be at white heat!”

“Lack of heart and lack of heat are two things He [God] loathes.”

“True prayer must be aflame. Christian life and character must be all on fire. Lack of spiritual heat creates more infidelity than lack of faith. Not to be consumingly interested about the things of heaven is not to be interested in them at all.”

“No erudition, no purity of diction, no width of mental outlook, no flowers of eloquence, no grace of person, can atone for lack of fire.”

“There can be no successful praying without consuming desire. Of course they can be much seeming to pray, without desire of any kind.”

“Many things may be catalogued and much ground covered [in prayer]. But does desire compile the catalogue? Does desire map out the region to be covered? On the answer, hangs the answer of whether our petitioning be prating or prayer. Desire is intense, but narrow; it cannot spread itself over a wide area. It wants a few things, and wants them badly, so badly, that nothing but God’s willingness to answer, can bring it easement or content.”

“This then is the basis of prayer which compels an answer-that strong inward desire has entered into the spiritual appetite, and clamours to be satisfied. Alas for us! It is altogether too true and frequent, that our prayers operate in the arid region of a mere wish, or in the leafless area of memorized prayer. Sometimes, indeed, our prayers are merely stereotyped expressions of set phrases, and conventional proportions, the freshness and life of which have departed long years ago.”

“The indispensable requisite for all true praying is a deeply seated desire which seeks after God Himself, and remains unappeased, until the choicest gifts in Heaven’s bestowal, have been richly and abundantly granted.”

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