Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Random Quote on Prayer Meetings

I'm reading a fascinating book written in 1906 entitled "New Life in the Old Prayer-Meeting" by John Cowan. Since revitalizing the prayer-meeting is of great importance I have be enriched by some of Cowan's keen insights. Here is one on the need for more Bible in the meeting:

A prayer-meeting with too much topic and not enough Bible is like a farm on which some one should try to substitute moonlight for sunlight. Moonlight is good for skating, and drives, and walks, but for raising corn and wheat, and for all the vital processes of life moonlight would be a poor substitute for sunlight. Let us have the sunlight first in our prayer-meetings, and after we have got God's thought then it is time enough to have men's thoughts on God's thoughts. This is an age in which we are using too much peptonized [pre-digested] spiritual food: too many of us are getting our knowledge of the Bible at second hand, through books of daily devotions, through Sunday-school lessons, and the "meditations" of others in published form. We need to get more of the Bible at first hands, and less of men's thoughts on God's thoughts; meditate ourselves, be devout without a model. There is too much of the canning factory in our modern religious life, and not enough of the garden and farm.

This is applicable to sermon preparation and presentation as well. The online text of this book can be found here.

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