Experiencing God Through Prayer by Madame Guyon
The reader finds on page nine that God delights when we come to Him in simple, childlike confidence.
Madame Guyon teaches this simple truth and childlike confidence. We must learn to pray from our heart, not from our head. She explains how to sit quietly (while being active) and wait on God.
“I would emphasis my statement to you-you are called to enjoy God-not only His gifts to you…
The whole desire of our heavenly Father is to give Himself to every creature according to the capacity in which we will receive Him.”
This is a small book of only 90 pages, yet it is difficult to try to limit the wisdom and knowledge to just one page.
Starting on page 31 of chapter 7 The Bitter and the Sweet reads:
“Be patient, dear ones, during suffering. It was through His suffering on Calvary that Jesus gave the greatest display of love.
Don't be like those who give themselves to Jesus at one season only to withdraw from Him at another. They give themselves to Him only to be caressed, yet when in times of trouble, they turn back to man for consolation.
No, beloved friends, you will not find consolation in anything other than the love of the cross and total abandonment. If you will not savor the cross you cannot savor the things of God. (See Matthew 16:23).
It is impossible to love God without loving the cross. If you savor the cross, you will find even the most bitter things to be sweet.
‘To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet’ (Proverbs 27:7), because it finds itself hungering for God in the same proportion as it is hungering for the cross...
Jesus Christ Himself chose to endure the utmost severity of the cross...
(John 14:6) Abandon [surrender] yourself then in Jesus. Follow Him as the way. Wait for Him to reveal truth to you. Allow Him to animate us with life.
Abandonment [surrender] is the means God uses to reveal His mysteries to us.
To bear all the marks of Jesus Christ is much greater than merely meditating on them. Paul said, ‘I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus’ (Gal 6:17). He does not say he merely thought about them, he says he bore them.
As you abandon yourselves to Jesus, He will reveal those marks to you. You have no choice but to reach after Him. Dwell with Him. Sink into nothingness before Him.
Accept indiscriminately all His gifts whether sweetness or bitterness. Let nothing retard your course for even one moment...
If you sincerely love God, you will love all that belongs to Him.”
In another chapter we read, “The only genuine means of bringing about change is by inward means. You must commit yourself wholly into the hands of a loving God. The simple act of commitment in every circumstance where self exerts itself will, in time, produce a separation of the sensual from the spiritual…
The nearer your spirit draws to God, the further you become separated from the soulish demands…
God himself will show you the areas of your life which need attention. Those who are faithfully abandoning all to God will indeed be purified, polished, and perfected in His timing…”
A quote from the chapter entitled Matters of the Heart. “Sin takes possession of the soul deficient in faith and prayer. If we would but teach our wandering brethren to simply believe and diligently pray, rather than engaging them in endless reasoning's, we would lead them sweetly into the arms of God.” And for references Madame Guyon gives Psalm 19:7, 119:130; Matthew 19:14, 11:25.
Other chapter titles include: Thirsting For God, Scriptural Meditation, Surviving Dry Periods, Distractions, Put Off The Old, The Reward of Silence.
Could our goals in life, our aim for class members, this book and the other resources we use as tools be:
“To teach man to seek God in his heart, to think of Him, to return to Him whenever he has wandered, and to have a single eye to please Him, is leading that person to the source of all grace. There he will find everything necessary for sanctification…
Teach the young to pray, not by reasoning or by method or by understanding, but by the prayer from the heart-the prayer of God’s Spirit rather than man’s invention…
There is no better way to learn how to love God than to simply love Him.”