When you pray, listen—you may hear music. Let’s pray…
Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, ‘Speak, for thy servant heareth.’ Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy Voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking Voice.*
*From The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
“A generation of Christians reared among pushbuttons and automatic-machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions, and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar. The tragic results of this spirit are all about us. Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit; these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.” —A. W. Tozer
Tozer looked at the church and told it like it was. He died in 1963. I wonder what he’d tell the church today?
P.S. We’re the lamps of His light—not the salesmen or the customers of His fire. How could we be? He fits no category, exceeds every attribution, defies all description. We confine Him to the object of our study, yet He is the unleashed subject of the universe itself. “He’s the superlative of everything good you choose to call Him”, Rev Lockwood called Him—yet we still tread the surface of the Sea of Him seeking to stay afloat, waters in which He intended us to drown.
A.W. Tozer’s opening line caught me off guard. When the shock wore off, it began to make sense…
“Make sure that you don’t substitute prayer for obedience. Prayer is the oxygen of Christianity, but if we pray without preaching the gospel as we have been commanded to, we are drawing near to God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. Make sure you put legs to your prayers and reach out to those who are going to Hell.”
It seems that Bono of U2 agreed…
“Christians who prize “politeness” over candor may end up living a trivialized life. You’ve gotta be very careful that grace and politeness do not merge into a banality of behavior where we’re just nice—sort of ‘death by cupcake.’”
Pray to proclaim.