The April 26th devotion from Octavius Winslow’s Morning Thoughts really encouraged me in prayer. I thought I’d post it here to make it more accessible. You can read his devotional thoughts daily on the official Winslow website or you can also purchase the book or get the Kindle version for only $0.99. Highly recommended.
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Ephesians 2:18
What is prayer? It is the communion of the spiritual life in the soul of man with its Divine Author; it is a breathing back the divine life into the bosom of God, from where it came; it is holy, spiritual, humble converse with God. That was a beautiful remark of a converted heathen- “I open my Bible, and God talks with me; I close my Bible, and then I talk with God.” Striking definition of true prayer!
It is a talking with God as a child talks with his father, as a friend converses with his friend: “And the Lord talked with Moses.” Let it be remembered, then, that true prayer is the aspiration of a renewed soul towards God; it is the breathing of the divine life, sometimes in the accents of sorrow, sometimes as the expression of need, and always as the acknowledgment of dependence; it is the looking up of a renewed, afflicted, necessitous, and dependent child to its own loving Father, in all the consciousness of utter weakness, and in all the sweetness of filial trust.
Who is the object of prayer? Jehovah, the Lord of heaven and earth; to Him, as the Three in One, does true prayer only address itself. He alone has an ear to hear our tale of sorrow; an arm than can support in time of need; and a heart that can sympathize with our deep necessity. The high and lofty One, that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, who is the Creator and Governor of all worlds, who bears up the pillars of the universe, to whom all the powers in heaven, in earth, and in hell are subject, He is the glorious object to whom we address ourselves in prayer.
Not less amazing is the medium of prayer- what is it? Not a creature, dependent as ourselves; but the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, equal in might, majesty, and dominion with the Father, and yet the Elder Brother, the slain Lamb, the Mediator and Surety, the High Priest of His people. Prayer finds acceptance within the veil, only as it is presented in the name of Jesus. The voice that speaks there, in behalf of the lowly suppliant, is the voice of Immanuel’s blood; this is the “new and living way,”- this is the plea that prevails, this is the argument that moves Omnipotence itself.
He who pleads the blood of Jesus in prayer may have ten thousand tongues all pleading against him, but “the blood of Jesus speaks better things,” and drowns their every voice. Oh precious, costly medium of prayer!
Marvelous, too, is the Author of prayer- who is He? The apostle informs us: “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Thus is it the Holy Spirit who begets the desire, indites the petition, and breathes it forth in prayer through Christ to God. What a sublime exercise, then, is prayer!
The outgoing of the divine life in the soul is its nature- Jehovah its object- the Lord Jesus its medium- and the Holy Spirit its author. Thus the blessed Trinity is unity is engaged in the great work of a sinner’s approach unto God.