Madame Jeanne Guyon
Excerpts from A Short and Easy Method of Prayer
retitled/republished in modern English as Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ
Do you desire to know the Lord in a deep way? God has made such an experience, such a walk, possible for you. Prayer is the key, a kind of prayer that is very simple.
The type of prayer that I have in mind is to walk in the presence of God. I describe [it] as “beholding the Lord” or “waiting on the Lord.”
You come before your Lord to sit in his presence, beholding him, making use of the Scripture to quiet your mind.
Begin to read some portion of Scripture. As you read, pause. You are reading in order to turn your mind from outward things to [God’s presence within.] You are not there to learn or to read, but you are there to experience the presence of the Lord.
Once you are in the Lord’s presence, be still and quiet before Him. If your mind begins to wander, just turn your attention back again.
As you come to him, humbly acknowledge that He is everything. Give yourself up to God. . . . Acknowledge before him his right to rule over you. Surrender your heart into his hands. Surrender your freedom into his hands. Yield to your Lord his right to do with you as He pleases.
You must utterly believe that the circumstances of your life, that is, every minute of your life – anything, yes, everything that happens – have all come to you by His will and by his permission. You must utterly believe that everything that has happened to you is from God. Such an outlook towards your circumstances and such a look of faith towards your Lord will make you content with everything. You will then begin to take everything that comes into your life as being from the hand of God, not from the hand of man.
Abandonment is the key. It is the key to the inner court – the key to the fathomless depths. Abandonment is the key to the inward spiritual life.
The Lord himself has said, “Take no thought for tomorrow, for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. (Matthew 6.32-34). All your concerns go into the hand of God. You forget yourself, and from that moment on you think only of Him. By continuing to do this over a long period of time your heart will be free and at peace!
What is abandonment? It is forgetting your past; it is leaving the future in His hands; it is devoting the present fully and completely to your Lord. Abandonment is being satisfied with [God in] the present moment, no matter what that moment contains. You are satisfied because you know that whatever that moment has, it contains – in that instant – God’s eternal plan for you.
Do you wish to go into the depths of Jesus Christ? Surrender yourself to be led by God, living twenty four hours a day utterly abandoned to God.