John Wesley on Prayer Lesson 40

*Sing of His Love

…declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts…and will remember their sins no more.

Hebrews 8:10, 12 NIV

After you have used any of these means of grace, take care how you value yourself on them; how you congratulate yourself as having done some great thing. This is turning all into poison. The cause of our redemption is not our own works or righteousness, but the kindness and love of God our Savior…according to His mercy…that we might become heirs of eternal life (see Titus 3:4-7).

Meantime, think, “If God was not there, what does using this means avail? Have I not been adding sin to sin? O Lord, save, or I perish! O lay not this sin to my charge!”

If God was there, if his love flowed into your heart, you have already forgotten the outward work. You see, you know, you feel, God is all in all. Be abased. Sink down before Him. Give Him all the praise. Let God in all things be glorified through Christ Jesus. Cry from the depth of your heart, “My song shall be always of the lovingkindness of the Lord, with my mouth I will ever be telling of Your truth from one generation to another!” (see Psalm 89:1 and 100:5.)

*From How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.

In this fortieth lesson on prayer, Wesley reminds us that it is never about us, but always about Him. This reminds me of God’s encouragement to Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4:6, where God said, “…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

So often we try to take credit for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives or in the lives of others through us. But as Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 4:5-12:

 “5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, ” Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death works in us, but life in you.”

When we take on the death of Christ by dying to self and the need to be recognized, we release the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to do “…far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21 NASB).

Wesley so states in this lesson, “After you have used any of these means of grace, take care how you value yourself on them; how you congratulate yourself as having done some great thing. This is turning all into poison. The cause of our redemption is not our own works or righteousness, but the kindness and love of God our Savior…according to His mercy…that we might become heirs of eternal life”

Wesley concludes, “If God was there, if his love flowed into your heart, you have already forgotten the outward work. You see, you know, you feel, God is all in all. Be abased. Sink down before Him. Give Him all the praise. Let God in all things be glorified through Christ Jesus. Cry from the depth of your heart, “My song shall be always of the lovingkindness of the Lord, with my mouth I will ever be telling of Your truth from one generation to another!”

Published by doctorpaddy

An ordained minister, Christian communicator, and educator.

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