Commonplace Holiness Holiness woven into the fabric of life...

William Law: The Best Prayer Book

William Law (1686-1761)

William Law (1686-1761)

“The way to be a man of prayer, and be governed by its spirit, is not to get a book full of prayers; but the best help you can have from a book, is to read one full of such truths, instructions, and awakening informations, as force you to see and know who, and what, and where, you are; that God is your all; and that all is misery, but a heart and life devoted to him.  This is the best outward prayer book you can have, as it will turn you to an inward book, and spirit of prayer in your heart, which is a continual longing desire of the heart after God, his divine life, and Holy Spirit.  When, for the sake of this inward prayer, you retire at any time of the day, never begin till you know and feel, why and wherefore you are going to pray; and let this why and wherefore, form and direct everything that comes from you, whether it be in thought or in word.”

— William Law, The Spirit of Prayer [1749]

Comments (4) | Trackback

4 Responses

  1. James Lung February 27, 2015 / 8:28 am

    Bob Tuttle, Jr. noted (I forget which book) that true prayer begins in the Father and returns to Him through the Holy Spirit, who gives us the words, sometimes inaudible, sometimes apparently incoherent, sometimes primeval, that our lips and bodies return, in love. All prayer is prayer in the Spirit.

    Is there any evidence that Wesley and Law were reconciled after the Aldersgate turmoil?

      • James Lung February 27, 2015 / 3:03 pm

        Thanks for the link. Interesting, in light of the Catholic Spirit and “If thine heart is as mine, then give me your hand . . . . ” I’ll read the article.

        • Craig L. Adams February 27, 2015 / 3:34 pm

          As Tyson points out, Wesley was giving Law’s writings bad reviews right to the end. Nevertheless, he did recommend Law’s early writings like A Serious Call. And, of course, Law really was a significant influence on his thinking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *