Prayer by Ole Hallesby 

I have had this book on my bookshelf since I was a student. It is a while since I have looked at it, but it caught my eye earlier today and I want just to share with you a few of the quotes I have underlined in the opening few pages; quotes that are reassuring but also uncomfortably revealing; quotes that are both encouraging and challenging. 

They flow from Revelation 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” 

I simply leave the quotes with you to ponder, and to reflect upon, prayerfully. (I have combined separate quotes thematically) 

“To pray is to let Jesus come into our hearts. It is Jesus who moves us to pray. Our prayers are always a result of Jesus’ knocking at our hearts’ door. All He needs is access.” 

“To pray is to give Jesus permission to employ His powers in the alleviation of our distress. To pray is nothing more than to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting Him to exercise His own power in dealing with them. Will we give access Jesus to our needs? That is the one great and fundamental question in connection with prayer.” 

“Prayer is something deeper than words. Prayer is an attitude of our hearts, an attitude of mind. What attitude? 

(1) Helplessness. Prayer has been ordained only for the helpless. Prayer and helplessness are inseparable. Only he who is helpless can truly pray. Your helplessness is your best prayer. Be not anxious because of your helplessness. Above all, do not let it prevent you from praying. Helplessness is the real secret and the impelling power of prayer.” 

(2) Faith: The other attitude of heart and mind which is the essence of prayer. “Without faith there can be no prayer, no matter how great your helplessness may be. Helplessness united with faith produces prayer. Without faith our helplessness will be only a vain cry of distress in the night. The essence of faith is to come to Christ. This is the first and the last and the surest indication that faith is still alive. We have faith enough when we in our helplessness turn to Jesus. Helplessness becomes prayer the moment that you go to Jesus and speak candidly and confidently with Him about your needs, This is to believe.” 

“Prayer requires nothing more involved than opening the door when Jesus knocks and giving Him access to our distress and helplessness with all His miracle-working powers. But He cannot gain admittance until we ‘open the door’, that is, until we in prayer give Him an opportunity to intervene.” Let Him in now, and pray in this simple, helpless, believing manner. 

St Mark 11 April 8th 2020 ©2020 Avendale & Drumclog Parish Church, All Rights Reserved.