Wednesday, July 8, 2015

On Prayer and the Father's Love

In one of her essay collections, Elisabeth Elliot recounts an anecdote from her childhood. At a seaside vacation, her little brother didn't trust that their father would keep him safe from drowning as they jumped together in the waves. Even though Elisabeth joined her father in the water, let him hold her as they jumped together, and seemed to be having a splendid time, her brother stayed on the shore until the last day, when he relented and discovered all the fun he'd missed by trusting his fears instead of his father. Reflecting on this, Elisabeth writes:

"Learning to pray is learning to trust the wisdom, the power, and the love of our Heavenly Father, always so far beyond our dreams. He knows our need and knows ways to meet it that have never entered our heads. Things we feel sure we need for happiness may often lead to our ruin. Things we think will ruin us..., if we believe what the Father tells us and surrender ourselves into His strong arms, bring us deliverance and joy.... 
"My father knew far better than his small, fearful, stubborn son what would give him joy. So does our Heavenly Father. Whenever I have resisted Him, I have cheated myself.... Whenever I have yielded, I have found joy." 
~Elisabeth Elliot, "Learning the Father's Love," in Keep a Quiet Heart

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