Granted Ministries has recently released a reprinting of David M’Intyre’s The Hidden Life of Prayer, published alongside of another of his works, The Prayer-Life of our Lord. As I began reading The Hidden Life… I came across a section that I found particularly helpful as it relates to keeping the mind focused upon the Lord in prayer. I know I am not alone as one who is easily distracted as I set out to pray. Knowing that this is a common experience among believers, I thought sharing M’Intyre’s “three great but simple acts of faith, which will serve to stay the mind on God” in prayer would be helpful.
(a) Let us, in the first place, recognize our acceptance before God through the dying of the Lord Jesus…Our first act in prayer ought to be the yielding of our souls to the power of the blood of Christ. It was in the power of the ritual sacrifice that the high priest in Israel passed through the veil on the Day of Atonement. It is in the power of the accepted offering of the Lamb of Divine Appointment that we are privileged to come into the presence of God.
(b) It is important also that we confess and receive the enabling grace of the Divine Spirit, without whom nothing is holy, nothing good…When we enter the inner chamber, we should present ourselves before God in meekness and trust and open our hearts to the incoming and infilling of the Holy Ghost. So we shall receive from the praying Spirit, and commit to the praying Christ, those petitions which are of Divine birth and express themselves, through our finite hearts and sin-stained lips, in “groaning which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26). Without the support of the Holy Spirit, prayer becomes a matter of incredible difficulty.
(c) One more, as “the Spirit rides most triumphantly in His own chariot,” His chosen means of enlightenment, comfort, quickening, and rebuke being the Word of God, it is well for us in the beginning of our supplications to direct our hearts toward the Holy Scriptures. It will greatly help to calm the “contrary” mind if we open the sacred volume and read it as in the presence of God, until there shall come to us out from the printed page a word from the Eternal. George Muller confessed that often he could not pray until he had steadied his mind upon a text. Is it not the prerogative of God to break the silence? “When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek” (Ps. 27:8). Is it not fitting that His will should order all the acts of our prayer with Himself? Let us be silent to God, that He may fashion us.” (emphasis mine)
Adapted from: David M. M’Intyre, The Hidden Life of Prayer and The Prayer-Life of our Lord (Hannibal, MO: Granted Ministries Press, 2012), 19-21.