When Scripture encourages us to pray without ceasing, and to cast all our care upon him, it is literally saying redirect those restless, energetic minds into a positive stream of communication with God. Turn it all into prayer! Instead of nursing our wounds and self-pity, pray for the grace to forgive. Instead of worrying about those for whom we are responsible, ask God to intervene and lift the burden from our shoulders. Instead of thinking creatively about how to bring someone else down, pray creatively about how to build them up.
When I lived in England, my landlady had a little wall plaque that read, “Why pray when you can worry?” I always saw the humor of it, and the reverse psychology was good for me. It always drove me to really say, “Why worry when you can pray
—John Guest in Only a Prayer Away
Loving God Or Starving?
There is a famine of compassion and unselfish, lasting, growing, true love among human beings because of the blast of egotistic desire to have “rights” protected. In the midst of the famine, however, a true reality of living in the light of the first commandment would bring an outpouring of an endless supply of love. To love God with all one’s heart is not to use up love, but to increase it continually.
—Edith Schaeffer in Lifelines: The Ten Commandments for Today
For religion all men are equal, as all pennies are equal, because the only value in any of them is that they bear the image of the king.
—G. K. Chesterton in Charles Dickens, quoted in As I Was Saying
No Fit Masters Among Us
Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.
—C. S. Lewis in “Equality” from Present Concerns
At Cross Purposes?
Jesus is a great divider of life. One must walk parallel with Him or directly across His way.
—Charles M. Sheldon in In His Steps
The Poisonous Self
We have within us a self that has its poison from Satan—from hell—and yet we cherish and nourish it. What do we not do to please self and nourish self—and we make the devil within us strong.… Look at your own life. What are the works of hell? They are chiefly these three: self-will, self-trust, and self-exaltation.
—Andrew Murray in The Spiritual Life
Toys Never Satisfy
Men are merely taller children. Honor, wealth, and splendor are the toys for which grown children pine; but which, however accumulated, leave them still disappointed and unhappy. God never designed that intelligent beings should be satisfied with these enjoyments. By His wisdom and goodness they were formed to derive their happiness and virtue from Him alone.
—Timothy Dwight in a sermon, “The Sovereignty of God,” quoted in Spiritual Awakening
Heart Over Head
God prefers rather to incline the will than the intellect. Perfect clearness would be of use to the intellect, and would harm the will.
—Pascal’s Pensées (No. 580)
Michael, Row Your Boat …
God gives us the boat and the oars, but then tells us, “It’s up to you to row.” Making “positive acts of faith” is like training this faculty; it is developed by training, as the muscles are developed by gymnastics.
—Carlo Carretto in Letters from the Desert
There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express.
—Billy Sunday in a sermon, “Wonderful,” quoted in The Real Billy Sunday
Socrates was wont to say—They are most happy and nearest the Gods that needed nothing. And coming once up into the Exchange at Athens, where they that traded asked him, What will you buy; what do you lack? After he had gravely walked up into the middle, spreading forth his hands and turning about, Good Gods, saith he, who would have thought there were so many things in the world which I do not want!
—Thomas Traherne in Centuries
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