Monday, March 9, 2009

Prayerlife

I'm doing a new bible study with my "Heart-to-Heart" girls titled 'Praying the Names of God' by Ann Spangler.


Today is the first day. The focus this week is Elohim... God, our Creator.

It'll be difficult to "do it with them" since I'll be 800 miles away, but when I had my last evening with them this past Thursday, picking up my new book to take with me to NC and sharing final, hearty hugs, we decided that I'd blog my thoughts about each chapter weekly, and they'll share theirs in the comments. I'm looking forward to seeing how that will play out.

In the meantime, I found another jewel in mom's photo albums... "One of the messages from Akseli Skutnabb's book 'Hanessa' (In Him)"

It's aptly titled 'Prayerlife.'



"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask
or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the
churches by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Ephesians 3: 20-21

It is very comforting to know that God does much beyond that which we can
pray for or what we can think to ask for. If He would give us only what we
request, we would remain very poor. He does much more. He does not
need our requests and petitions. We need them in order to stay
alive. Many people ask why we need to pray at all since God would give us
anyway what we need. Yes, He would do that. But if we would receive
everything without asking for it, we would become very careless just like
children who receive everything in overabundance. In order that this will
not happen to us, God has given us the prayerlife. We have observed that
our enemy, Satan, is working hard to try to hinder our prayerlife.

Prayerlife does not basically consist of a multitude of petitions to
God. Prayer is much more a matter of stillness before God, waiting on
God. We human beings need moments when we quietly concentrate on listening
to what God wants to tell us. The oriental religions put much emphasis on
meditation, on the art of quiet reflection. The western world has received
that as something new. In a way it might be new for many Christians
because they are beginners in the word of God. But we need not go to the
orient to learn this art. If we would but understand our position in
Christ, the Holy Spirit of God would teach us to meditate on God's Word.

It is amazing what happens when we are still before God. We might not
be consciously aware of receiving anything at the time but we become richer and
we have received strength for everyday life, for life's temptations and
difficulties. We sink into a wonderful God-consciousness. We let God
control us. Without this, life would be very poor. Even though we
believe that Christ lives in us we would direct our attention only
outward. Christ would become a stranger to us if we would not practice
stillness before Him to hear what He wants to communicate to us.

The quakers have learned to practice stillness before God. It is a
healthy contrast to the world that makes too much noise speaking. there
are so few people who can be quiet. When they then should speak out, then
they stay silent. Jesus kept silent at the most important moments of His
life.

The early Christians called themselves "theoforus," the "carriers" of
God. How could we carry eternity in our heart without expressing it?
The Holy Spirit of God in us will manifest Himself through us.

"In order that Christ might dwell in our hearts 'by faith,'" we read in the
bible. Why does it say "by faith?" The answer is that we don't
always feel it. It is not a matter of feeling or emotion. When we
understand the meaning of the cross of Christ, then can we comprehend the truth
that Christ is in us and we are in Him. This is a matter of faith just as
the fact that every bornagain person has the Holy Spirit.

That's all we have from 'In Him.' The foreword, which I blogged about previously, and this portion regarding prayerlife. How I wish I could get my hands on this book. Not only this one, but Helmi's novel, as well. What treasures they would be. Granted, I wouldn't be able to understand them... but I'd have them translated. It'd be so worth it.

My search begins... (any idea where to start?!). Maybe it'll prove to be futile, but you never know till you try!

1 comment:

Silvola said...

Hi Pam,

My name is Markus, a Finnish immigrant from Australia. I'm a great fan of your Great Grand Father Akseli Skutnabb. I found your blog when searching more information about him on Google.

His book 'Hänessä' has influenced my spiritual life a lot. Since reading his book about 20 years ago my Christian life hasn't been the same. Really, that book is awesome!

It is really hard to find his books because the publisher 'Lähetys Ystävä' doesn't exist anymore. He also wanted to use only the initials A.S. as an author which makes it even more difficult.

My edition of 'Hänessä' is from 1970 with a new name 'Uusi luomus' (New Creation). I know there is also another book of his published in the 80's which my father has in Finland.

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