~R. Thomas Ashbrook
"The wiles of the devil are terrible; he will run a thousand times round hell if by doing so he can make us believe that we have a single virtue which we have not."
~Teresa of Avila
Many a one has turned from his inner chamber, under bitter self-accusation that he has prayed so little, and has resolved for the future to live in a different manner. Yet no blessing has come—there was not the strength to continue faithful, and the call to repentance had no power, because his eyes had not been fixed on the Lord Jesus. If he had only understood he would have said: “Lord, Thou seest how cold and dark my heart is: I know that I must pray, but I feel that I can not do so; I lack the urgency and desire to pray.”
He did not know that at that moment the Lord Jesus in His tender love was looking down upon him and saying: “You cannot pray; you feel that all is cold and dark: why not give yourself over into my hands? Only believe that I am ready to help you in prayer; I long greatly to shed abroad My love in your heart, so that you, in the consciousness of weakness, may confidently rely on Me to bestow the grace of prayer. Just as I cleanse you from all other sins, so also will I deliver from the sin of prayerlessness—only do not seek the victory in your own strength. Bow before Me as one who expects everything from his Savior. Let your soul keep silence before Me, however sad you feel your state to be. Be assured of this—I will teach you how to pray. (The Prayer Life by Andrew Murray)
It is amazing how, even after 37+ years of following Jesus, reading the saints and the poets can cause me to realize how much of a beginner I still am. Lord, have mercy.