Thursday, November 26, 2015

Madame Guyon’s Perfection of Love and Presence In Prayer

“Indeed nothing can interrupt this prayer but irregular and disordered affections, and when once we have tasted of God, and the sweetness of His love, we shall find it impossible to relish anything but Himself.”
— Madame Guyon (1648–1717)
Is life worthy of anything other than God; him first… and everything hence ordered unto him? And whereby things find no place in the Presence of God, do they find any rightful place in us?
The loving delights of God are to be tasted and savoured on the palate; ruminations of which take us far away from darksome thoughts and senseless pleasures. Such contemplative milestones are quietness of soul, stillness of spirit, and perfect God-designed-and-anointed sensuality for the senses — dependent on nothing but the salacious delicacies of his creation.
Nothing, literally nothing, is to be compared with the light God brings a being swept up in his loving Presence by prayer.
Prayer is unadorned focus on God to the exclusion of all interruption; although, by interruption, there’s further invitation, an impelling, to re-join him in his holy of holies.
Prayer is hence about Presence. Prayer is more about him than it could ever be about us. And the beneficence of prayer is that God gives such perfection of love in his Presence that we’d hardly want of anything else.
This is when prayer approaches worship — as we ascribe, though our worthiest, most sacrilegious attentions, the honour due God for our sole attentions alone.
Having succeeded in bringing ourselves before his plate, having experienced even once the multiplicity and depth of the delights of his Presence, we’re addicted to the only healthy, healing addiction in all creation: God, and him alone, all of him that we can manage, and all of him, by prayer.
We become dependent on God and we come to depend on experiencing his Presence by prayer. And such, as it is, we’re blessed of his love in order that we might love!
Nothing anyone can do could ever sway us, for we’re now the most evangelical converts — a ‘conversion’ well subsequent to conversion. And whether or not we’re introverted matters such little. If we’re extroverts it matters nothing more. We wait on God and have an answer poised on and pressed through our lips, of what exactly gives us the indelibly pervasive hope we have. This hope lights us.
We experience no distress or constraint, for we’re won to the Kingdom. As subjects we find ourselves more perfectly fitted for each moment of our existence, in spite of pleasure or pain.
Having been won to the Kingdom that decimates all unworthy kingdoms — (this is not terrorising language — for these are the matters of love that are bespoken) — we therefore exist to do God’s irrepressibly acceptable will.
Disordered affections that come irregularly, as Guyon puts it, merely become bases of measure for the attainment of longer seasons in the glory of God. We constantly want to outdo our previous personal best. Of course, these disordered affections can hold no lasting allure in us or for us. They simply cannot compete with what we see as an inalienable perfection to be ever experienced in the Presence of the Lord.
So, where does this exposé end?
Here: When God delights himself in us as we experience him in his Presence, we’re compelled to feel the perfection of his love. Such perfections are voluminous as they are unfathomable. We cannot get enough goodness, when, in life, we’ve come to get used to a lack of goodness everywhere.
Without God, there’s an absence of goodness. With God, goodness is everywhere.
With God we have all the delights of life at our fingertips. Without God we claw in the dark, never sensing meaning in anything.
By prayer we have the Presence of God. Without prayer God is as much absent as he was when we never knew him.
With prayer love’s goodness is within reach. But without prayer we’re cut off from his prevailing goodness of love.
When we’ve tasted the pregnant glories manifest by prayer we could never return to shutting God out of our world.
Having drunk of the delights of the Lord’s Presence all ‘worldly delight’ is vanquished as myriad sadistic folly. The delights of the Lord’s Presence convert the world’s delights, which were created for good, and arranges them only for blessing.
Yes, the delights of God are known by prayer. And by prayer the delights of life are entreated. But where delights known elsewhere are entreated, Satan will make God look impotent. And vast is the reach of the enemy’s accusatory deceit when prayer has become annulled.
So, delight in the silences of the simplicity of prayer. These contemplative milestones will be added to your shaky belief so that belief upon the power of God’s Presence in prayer will be bolstered. It becomes an irrevocable reality that every cell in us will esteem!
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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