PRAYER: The Breath of the Soul, by Ole Hallesby

Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. – Revelation 3:20

I doubt that I know of a passage in the whole Bible which throws greater light upon prayer than this one does.  It is, it seems to me, the key which opens the door into the holy and blessed realm of prayer.

To pray is to let Jesus come into our hearts.

This teaches us, in the first place, that it is not our prayer which moves the Lord Jesus.  It is Jesus who moves us to pray.  He knocks.  Thereby he makes known his desire to come in to us.  Our prayers are always a result of Jesus’s knocking at our hearts’ doors.

This throws new light upon the old prophetic passages: Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear (Isaiah 65:24).  Yea, verily, before we call, he graciously makes known to us what gift he has decided to impart to us.  He knocks in order to move us by prayer to open the door and accept the gift which he has already appointed for us.

From time immemorial prayer has been spoken of as the breath of the soul.  And the figure is an excellent one indeed.

The air which our body requires envelopes us on every hand.  The air of itself seeks to enter our bodies and, for this reason, exerts pressure upon us.  It is well known that it is more difficult to hold one’s breath than it is to breathe.  We need but exercise our organs of respiration, and air will enter forthwith into our lungs and perform its life-giving function to the entire body.

The air which our souls need also envelopes all of us at all times and on all sides.  God is round about us in Christ on every hand, with his many-sided and all-sufficient grace.  All we need to do is to open our hearts.

Prayer is the breath of the soul, the organ by which we receive Christ into our parched and withered hearts.

He says, If any man open the door, I will come in to him.

Notice carefully every word here.  It is not our prayer which draws Jesus into our hearts.  Nor is it our prayer which moved Jesus to come in to us.

All he needs is access.  He enters in of his own accord, because he desires to come in.  And he enters in wherever he is not denied admittance.

As air enters in quietly when we breathe, and does its normal work in our lungs, so Jesus enters quietly into our hearts and does his blessed work there.

He calls it to sup with us.

In Biblical language the common meal is symbolical of intimate and joyous fellowship.  This affords a new glimpse into the nature of prayer, showing us that God has designed prayer as a means of intimate and joyous fellowship between God and ourselves.

— From Prayer

1 Comment on PRAYER: The Breath of the Soul, by Ole Hallesby

  1. Hi Julia,
    I hope you don’t mind, but I tagged you for a “meme” in which we are to name our three favorite religious books, and then choose 5 other bloggers to name their three favorites. I thought you would have some interesting favorites to share. You can stop by my blog and read about it, if you want. If you don’t want to participate, that’s okay, too. God bless! Rebecca


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