I pulled this book off my shelf about a month ago. Sunu (our friend who married us) gave everyone this book prior to one of our trips to Serbia a few summers back. I hesitated to begin it back then as it seemed beyond my years for comprehension (I definitely think this was a lie I believed back then). While this book was written in the late 1600s by Madame Jeanne Guyon in France it actually does not have a challenging vocabulary but at the same time the words she writes packs a depth of wisdom and understanding that have brought spiritual giants to their knees.
The book was previously entitled “A Short and Very Easy Method of Prayer”. Guyon was passionate about sharing her passion for an intimate relationship with God. A relationship that was not based on outward works or even a persona to try to fit based on what society for the time would call a “Christian” but rather seeking Jesus Christ in the most center of your being, in the Holy of Holies where God’s Spirit is. She constantly urges believers to turn inward to this place instead of focusing outward because that is where God is found and where God’s power can change a person and bring them to a place of joy, peace and satisfaction.
Reading this book has really helped me to see my pursuit of God differently. I have still been stuck on thinking I need to right my wrongs and do something for God. I am tempted often to see God as my magic genie thinking if I pray 3 times today then maybe I will find favor in some area. I’ve known these are not ways God wants us to pursue Him but I’ve continued allowing my mind to go there. I even struggle down to my quiet times of always doing something for God and planning my time out instead of just sitting in His presence, praying to Him and waiting to see what He does.
“If you seek the Lord and yet are unwilling to stop your sinning, you shall not find Him. Why? Because you are seeking Him in a place where He is not.” p. x
“The Lord is found only within your spirit, in the recesses of your being, in the Holy of Holies; this is where He dwells. The Lord once promised to come and make His home within you. (John 14:23).” p. 11
“The times of spiritual dryness will be the same to you as the times of spiritual abundance. You will treat them both the same. Why? Because you will have learned to ove God just because you love Him, not because of His gifts, nor even for His precious presence.” p. 24
“Abandonment is being satisfied with the present moment, no matter what that moment contains. You are satisfied because you know that whatver that moment has, it contains – in that instant – God’s eternal plan for you.” p. 35
“All the prayers that proceed from your mind are merely preparations for bringing yout o a passive state; any and all active contemplation on your part is also just preparation for bringing you to a passive state. They are preparations. They are not the end. They are a way to the end. The end is union with God!” p. 125
There are so many excerpts I want to include in this book review but I’m afraid that would result in a re-typing of the book here so I suggest you pick up a copy on Amazon for yourself. It will change your entire pursuit of God to be more the way God intended in the first place. The book talks about distractions in prayer, putting to death the self and submitting to His Spirit, what to do in times of spiritual dryness, how to confess our sins and the spiritual discipline of silence. It is an incredible book!