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Thoughts From A.W. Tozer

Dear Friends,

I am not sure how you happen to feel about praying prayers written by others, but down through the ages there has been such a tradition in the Church. One that supports reading, meditating upon, and then praying the written prayers of others as if they were one’s own. Or as some prefer, a habit of reading them and then praying that person’s verbalized petitions in their own words. Either way, I believe that praying the thoughts and petitions of others as our own can have much spiritual value – when voiced from one’s heart, with an earnest desire to lay hold of such things by faith.

Therefore, I offer you three prayers written by A. W. Tozer. Prayers which struck my heart when I first read them in his book, “The Pursuit of God” and immediately felt led to pray them as if they were my own. Something I have done on more than one occasion. For in them I not only sense the heart of a true person of prayer, I sense a desire to possess what he requests. Maybe you will sense the same, and use his prayers to petition God for these same things. (I have revised some of the language.) Enjoy.

“O God, I have tasted of your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want You. I long to be filled with longing. I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Your glory, I pray, that I may know You indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me the grace to rise up and follow You from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

“Father, I want to know You, but my cowardly heart fears giving up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from You the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long, and which have become a very part of my living self, so that You may enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shall You make the place of Your feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for You Yourself will be the light of it, and there will be no night there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Lord, I want to trust You completely. I want to be altogether Yours. I want to exalt You above all. I desire that I may feel no sense of possessing anything outside of You. I want to constantly be aware of Your overshadowing Presence and to hear Your speaking voice. I long to live in restful sincerity of heart. I want to live so fully in the Spirit that all my thoughts may be as sweet incense ascending to You, and every act of my life may be an act of worship. Therefore, I pray in the words of Your great servant of old, ‘I beseech You to so cleanse the intent of my heart with the unspeakable gift of Your grace, that I may perfectly love You and worthily praise You.’ And all this I confidently believe You will grant me, through the merits of Jesus Christ Your Son. Amen.”

I would ask you (if you feel so led) to pray these prayers, for it would seem to me that no Christian would take exception to any of the petitions he offers to God. Voice each petition (silently, or out loud) as an earnest and passionate petition of your own. Lift each request to God as if the words and desire originated in your own heart, and were welling up from within your own soul spontaneously. And then trust God to answer in His time and in His way.
Yours, in the Name of Him Who Answers the Prayers of His People, Pastor Jeff


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