Meditations from Jeanne Guyon

here is nothing in this universe that is easier to obtain than the enjoyment of Jesus Christ. Your Lord is more present to you than you are to yourself; his desire to give Himself to you is greater than your desire to lay hold of Him.

Abandonment is the key to the inward spiritual life. It is practiced by continually losing your own will in the will of God. Great faith produces great abandonment.

Inside your spirit there is an act going on. It is a sweet sinking into Deity. The inward attraction becomes more and more powerful. Your soul, dwelling in love, is drawn by this powerful attraction and sinks continually deeper into that love. The experience of union begins very simply when there is born in you a desire for God. When the soul begins to turn inward to the life of the Spirit; when the soul begins to fall under the powerful, attraction of the Spirit. At this point, an earnest desire for union with God is born.

Prayer is a melting, a dissolving and an uplifting of the soul. It causes the soul to ascend to God. Nothing is as quick to return to its center as is the soul to the Spirit. Therefore hold your soul at peace. The more peaceful your soul is, the more quickly it is able to move toward God, its center.

When we speak of continual prayer, we are speaking of a prayer that originates from within. It originates there and works out, filling and permeating your whole being.

Simply keep returning to Him each time you have wandered away. When something is repeated over and over, it becomes a habit. This is true even of your soul. After much practice your soul forms the habit of turning inward to God. When this act has been formed in you, it will express itself as a continual abiding in your spirit and a continuous exchange of love between you and the Lord.

Meditations from Eugene Peterson

Prayer is the cultivation of a grace-filled relationship with God. We begin experiencing ourselves and the world not as a problem to be solved, but as a reality in which God is acting.

I want all of life to be intimate with the God who made, directs, and loves me. I want to do the original work of being in deepening conversation with the God who reveals himself to me and addresses me by name. I want to witness God out of my own experience. I don’t want to live as a parasite on the first-hand spiritual life of others, but to be personally involved with all my senses, tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.

Every person is involved in both the desires and the difficulties of intimacy in their lives. In every encounter, whether with God or with others, there is the challenge of closeness–the need to break through the defenses of sin in order to be in touch with another.

Prayer is the place where the doubts that come from disappointment and failure are dispelled and faith in the resurrection of love and promise is once again discovered.

Prayer is never the first word; it is always the second word. God has the first word. Prayer is answering speech; it is not primarily “address” but response.”

In prayer we enter into the realms of spirit where wonder and adoration have space to develop, where play and delight have time to flourish.

The primary orientation of spiritual direction is towards God, looking for grace. As we cultivate the practice of spiritual direction we find ourselves working in a field where the Spirit is inventive and the endless forms of grace are never repeated.

Prayer is all about staying alert to the magnificence of salvation. It guards us against the tendency to turn living faith into a lifeless religion.

Praying most often doesn’t get us what we want, but what God wants.