A higher degree of prayer

This is the ninth part of a series on prayer, adapted from Madame Jeanne Guyon’s writings from the 17th Century.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46: 10)

We are so focused on ourselves that we can’t see how God is working unless we can see or hear physical evidence of it. It is not the want of light, but an excess of light, which prevents us from seeing the stars. It is the same here; man can no longer

see his own work, because the strong light absorbs all his little distinct lights, and makes them fade away entirely – Gods excess surpasses them all.

Two types of people are silent: those who have nothing to say, those who have too much. It is, therefore, important to remain as much as possible in stillness.

At the commencement of this prayer, a movement of affection is necessary; but when grace begins to flow into us, we have nothing to do but to remain at rest, and take all that God gives. Any other movement would prevent our profiting by this grace, which is given in order to draw us into the rest of love. The grandest part of religion is the most simple. It is the same with natural things. Do you wish to get to the sea? Embark upon a river, and insensibly and without effort you will be taken to it. Do you wish to get to God? Take His way, so quiet, so easy, and in a little while you will be taken to Him in a manner that will surprise you.

How soon you would see that I am telling you only too little, and that the experience would far surpass any description that could be given! What do you fear? Why do you not throw yourself at once into the arms of Love, who only stretched them out upon the cross in order to take you in? What risk can there be in trusting God, and

abandoning yourself to Him? He will not deceive you, unless it be by giving you far more than you ever expected: while those who expect everything from themselves may well take to themselves the reproach which God utters by the mouth of Isaiah: “Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet said thou not, There is no hope” (Isa. 57. 10)

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