The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Presence of God in Prayer

A life of faith is necessarily a life of PRAYER. It must be obvious, that the faith, which makes God present at all times, and in all events, and yet without inspiring a sentiment of communion and sympathy with the Divine Mind, would be of no avail. When, therefore, we speak of believingly recognizing the presence of God in all things, we do not mean a recognition, in which there shall be no feeling, no sentiments of filial dependence, no gratitude and love. Far from it. God is made present by faith, in order to be loved and communed with. The spirit of true communion with God, which is only another name for the spirit of prayer, naturally flows out, as it seems to us, of the spirit of constant and specific faith; and naturally and necessarily forms an important part of the life of faith. True prayer always has relation to the existing state or tendency of the soul. Or rather it is, for the time being, the very state of the soul itself, and nothing else. And the existing state of the soul, it is hardly necessary to say, always and necessarily has a connection, more or less intimate, with the existing development of things. Connecting, therefore, the existing state of the soul with the existing state of things around it, and the development of things with the presence and agency of God, we are at once brought into correspondence and communion with God, in relation to the things, in which we are now most especially interested, and concerning which God is most pleased to know our filial trust, and to hear our humble supplications.

Accordingly it is, in our apprehension, a true doctrine, that every returning day brings with it its special burden of prayer; in other words, something which it is especially proper for us to introduce to the notice of our heavenly Father for his direction and blessing. And this is true, not only of every day, but of every hour and every moment. And thus it is, that those who live the life of faith, may not only be said to recognize God in everything, and to be in communication with him in every thing; but to look for guidance and the divine blessing in every thing and "TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING."

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 1, Chapter 10.

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