“What the world most needs today is prayer. It is prayer that will give birth to all the renewals, healings, deep and fruitful transformations we all want for society today. This world of ours is very sick, and only contact with heaven will be able to cure it.” Today’s Book Notes are going to be taken from a book written by Jacques Philippe, the author of the quote I just shared. The author hits the nail on the head with those two sentences. Only contact with heaven will be able to heal the rampant sickness in our world, our churches, our cities, and even our homes. But how do we contact heaven? Is there a specific time, place, position or words to use? If questions about prayer dog you, today’s Book Notes and this book will calm you.
Quickly, I have mentioned before my love for the author Jacques Philippe. He has written some of my favorite, life-changing, life challenging, and life-affirming books. My introduction to Jacques came through his book, Searching for and Maintaining Peace, also known as “The Pink Book.” I honestly believe I love Called to Life even more though. And Thirsting for Prayer, the book I’m sharing notes from today, rounds out my top three Jaques Philippe books. He has others, but if I could only choose three, well, I just did. Direct quotes from the book will be in bold with my thoughts following.
Book Notes: Thirsting for Prayer
To be renewed in prayer is to be renewed in all the aspects of our lives, to find a new youthfulness.
A liturgical and sacramental life that is not nourished by a personal encounter with God and is not at the service of that encounter can become tedious and sterile.
I think examining our prayer life is crucial. I know there are times when I “feel” or “don’t feel” in my prayer life and considering this quote, I wonder if it’s because I relied too much on the externals of going to Church every Sunday, but not the internal of meeting with God every day.
The first thing that should motivate us and encourage us to enter into a life of prayer is that God himself is inviting us to do it. Man searches for God, but God seeks out man even more actively.
I sure do love this quote from the book! God is seeking me even more actively than I am seeking Him. That is just so overwhelming to think about. I would like to get in the habit of considering this daily.
Prayer teaches us to put down our roots in God, to “abide in his love” (John 15:9), to find strength and security in him, thus empowering us to become stable supports for others.
Maybe this isn’t the best or even right way to think about this, but here it goes. I know sometimes there are things I cannot or just flat out don’t want to do. But, if it’s for my husband, children or someone else, that will motivate me a little more to do it. And maybe if I feel a little sluggish or downright resistant to getting to my prayers for the day, maybe if I consider that I’m doing them so I can help others, that will give me the push I need? I don’t know. Was that a stretch? Did I just expose all my fatal flaws in a couple of sentences?
There is no more beautiful and effective school of attention to our neighbor than perseverance in prayer.
Again, see above. I’m going to compare this to walking on my treadmill. I don’t like it honestly. I like the way it makes me feel afterward, but the actual walking I find boring. But I do it because I want to be a healthy wife, momma, friend. In the same token, perseverance in prayer can make me a better “neighbor.”
By bringing us into communion with God, prayer makes us share in God’s creativity. Contemplation nourishes our creative faculties and our inventiveness, particularly in the realm of beauty.
I love everything about this quote. Although I’m not an artistically creative person, I do appreciate creativity and beauty. I’m stuck on, “Contemplation nourishes…” I could roll that around for days if not longer. Haha! I just realized that would be “contemplating” this thought.
Prayer enlarges and softens our hearts. Where prayer is lacking, people’s hearts harden and love grows cold.
Oh my goodness! ‘A’ to the blessed ‘Men!’ And I need to remember this when my heart starts feeling a little hard in life or towards a certain person–anyone listening? If we start feeling hard-hearted towards someone, that may be our alarm to pray more.
Jesus does not ask us to pray well; he asks us to pray without ceasing!
Oh yeah. Funny how we confuse the two.
We need to give God permission to love us (if I may so put it), instead of wanting to do anything, no matter what it is, on our own initiative.
This might be my favorite quote from the book. How often do we think in terms of allowing God to love us? I never do, but I know I try to remind Him of all the reasons why He shouldn’t or couldn’t love me. I know someone out there just read that and winced. I got you sister.
Sometimes our prayer is very arid and poor, yet because we are being faithful to God, he teaches us secretly, without our even noticing it.
I’d like to be able to remember this too and when I don’t “feel” God, I can tell myself, “He must be teaching you in secret Jenny.”
It is good for our prayer to be nourished essentially on the Word of God. One of the lovely things about the Bible is that God not only addresses us, speaking to our hearts but also gives us words in which to respond.
I am finding the more I read my Bible, the more I know His Words. I know, obvious right? But not only can I recall stories or Biblical lessons, I can say to God, “I know this because You said that…”
True peace does not come as the result of a process of human reasoning. It can only come from having our hearts attached to the promises God makes us through his Word.
The Lord knew I needed this quote today. I have been working overtime trying to reason and make sense; like I even know what I’m doing or have control of things. Pride much? Instead of relying on Jenny and her “fabulous” mind, how about I rely on God and His eternal promises.
The quality of personal prayer is obviously conditioned by how we live our lives outside our times of prayer.
I don’t know about you but this quote just convicted the conviction right out of me! It’s crazy that I think I can spend so much time scrolling social media and listening to junk and then complain that I can’t “hear” God or focus on my prayers. This was a Holy Spirit Kapow quote!
Human life is made up of rhythms: the rhythm of breathing, the rhythm of days and nights, weeks and years…If we want to be faithful to prayer, it must find its place in our life’s rhythms.
I might disagree with this quite a bit. I don’t like his use of the word, “find.” I know if I try to find a place for prayer in the rhythms of my life, it will be pushed aside by all the squeaky wheels demanding immediate attention. Instead, I must make a place in my life for prayer.
Whatever our prayer was like, the last word of it should always be an act of thanksgiving.
Yes, yes, yes! This is a habit I’m trying to establish, ending my prayers with thanksgiving.
Prayer of intercession is one of the most beautiful expressions of trust in God and love for neighbor.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times this idea of intercession, or lack of intercession was one of the ideas behind my Bible and Prayer Journal. This is why I specified an area each week to write down my intentions so I wouldn’t forget them.
Let us ask God then, to enlighten us about the people he wishes to entrust to our prayers and our love.
What a beautiful morning, afternoon, and or evening prayer, “Lord, who do You entrust to my prayers this day?” I love the idea, although it is a little scary, of people being “entrusted” to my prayers and love.
Our prayer should be persevering, trusting, and even daring, but always infused with humble submission to God’s will.
This quote makes a great examen. Are my prayers persevering? Or do I get tired of praying or forgetful of my prayers and intentions? Are my prayers trusting? Am I speaking to God because I trust Him or is He just one more person I’m sharing all my concerns and fears with? Are my prayers daring? Am I honest with God or do I pray with kid-gloves on? Are my prayers humble? Am I willing to accept God’s will in my prayers? Am I willing to wait on God’s timing?
Whew! That got long but so very good! I’ll link to all, or at least most of Jacques Philippe’s books below. Every single one of them are incredibly amazing! And for more Book Notes, click the link here.