Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Things First - Part 3

As promised, here is the conclusion of this three-part series on George Mueller's thoughts on prayer and meditation, and the significant change in his life when he first sought to have his "soul happy in the Lord". Check out my first two posts on this topic: Part 1 and Part 2

In this final post, I want to consider Mueller's method of prayer and meditation on scripture presented in his autobiography. I know this excerpt is a little long, but it is well worth the read.
Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord. I began, therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning.

The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord's blessing up on His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God,: searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.

When thus I have been for awhile making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the Word may lead to it; but still continually keeping before me, that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation. The result is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, very soon after, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man...

As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time, except we take food, and as it is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man. We should take food for that, as every one must allow. What is the food for the inner man: not prayer, but the Word of God: and here again not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts...
I was challenged by the idea of needing spiritual food each morning, just as I need physical food. How can I be strong to do the work God has called me to each day if I am too weak from under-nourishment? I try too often to live the day to day in my own strength, using up any spiritual reserves I may have, leaving me exhausted (spiritually, emotionally and physically).

Have you ever taken significant time to meditate on Scripture? What might this action, done on a regular basis, do to transform our hearts and minds, and nourish us for the work ahead?!
All quotes are from George Mueller's  autobiography.
All bold formatting was added by me for emphasis. The italics are original to Mueller's autobiography.

1 comment:

  1. Gretchen Reynolds3/10/2010 8:19 PM

    Yes! I've been under-nourished from not being "in" God's Word for a while now. This last week I've been taking the kids for a walk in the morning and singing a single verse (Ephesians 2:10) aloud as a walk to really get it into my heart and mind. A couple of evenings I've had time to read Ephesians and there have been lots more tastey morsels there. I've felt a major difference this week - I've had more peace and patience and hope and love and a desire to do the good works that God has prepared in advance for me to do.


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