I thought I’d begin the week with a few thoughts on prayer from a man who knew something about it.

George MacDonald was a man of prayer, and it was reflected in his writings which spanned many genres:  adult fantasies, children’s fantasies, adult novels, children’s novels, realism, allegory, short stories, daily devotions, poetry, sermons, essays, translations and history.

An editor of many of George MacDonald’s books, Michael Phillips said,  “And in whatever he did I sensed the same wisdom coming forth, the same penetrating spiritual perception concerning intensely practical concerns.”

C.S. Lewis said of George MacDonald, “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master.” In fact, he compiled a book of daily readings of his favorite George MacDonald passages.

Here are some excerpts from the compilation of C.S. Lewis’ favorite George MacDonald passages, included in his book entitled, ‘George MacDonald’, an anthology, 365 readings.

The Say it Does Them Good:  “There are those even who, not believing in any ear to hear, any heart to answer, will yet pray.  They say it does them good; they pray to nothing at all, but they get spiritual benefit.  I will not contradict their testimony.  So needful is prayer to the soul that the mere attitude of it may encourage a good mood.  Verily to pray to that which is not, is in logic a folly:  yet the good that, they say, comes of it, may rebuke the worse folly of their unbelief, for it indicates that prayer is natural, and how could it be natural if inconsistent with the very mode of our being?” GM

Perfected Prayer “And there is communion with God that asks for nothing, yet asks for everything.. . He who seeks the Father more than anything He can give, is likely to have what he asks, for he is not likely to ask amiss.” GM

Why We Must Wait:  “Perhaps, indeed, the better the gift we pray for, the more time is necessary for its arrival.  To give us the spiritual gift we desire, God may have to begin far back in our spirit, in regions unknown to us, and do much work that we can be aware of only in the results; for our consciousness is to the extent of our being but as the flame of the volcano to the world-gulf whence it issues; in the gulf of our unknown being God words behind our consciousness.  With His holy influence, with His own presence (the one thing for which most earnestly we cry) He may be approaching our consciousness from behind, coming forward through regions of our darkness into our light, long before we begin to be aware that He is answering our request — has answered it, and is visiting His child.” GM

One of my favorite George MacDonald poems:

Sometimes, hard-trying, it seems I cannot pray —
For doubt, and pain, and anger, and all strife.
Yet, some poor half-fledged prayer-bird from the nest
May fall, flit, fly, perch — crouch in the bowery breast
Of the large, nation-healing tree of life–
Moveless there sit through all the burning day,
And on my heart at night, a fresh leaf cooling lay.
–George MacDonald

Prayer is the voice of faith.  Pray for your husband and your marriage.  Pray without ceasing.  Prayer has the power to remove mountains of doubt, despair, conflict and bitterness.  My marriage began to improve when I devoted myself to prayer; indeed I began to improve, and my marriage followed happily.

I’m praying for you as you pray for your husband,

  1. Do you earnestly, fervently pray for your husband? If not, I challenge you to set the timer for five minutes today, and pray that your husband would hear from God, that God would open his eyes, that God would move with goodness toward your husband, lead him to repentance, and turn him into a man of integrity.
  2. What qualities would you like to see in your husband? Write down three spiritual or character qualities you would like to see in your husband and begin to pray for those seeds to be planted and to grow in his heart.
  3. Here’s another prayer for you!

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