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William Law: Prayer from the Heart

"For your heart is your life, and your life can only be altered by that which is the real working of your heart.  And if your prayer is only a form of words, made by the skill of other people, such a prayer can no more change you into a good man, than an actor upon the stage, who speaks kingly language, is thereby made to be a king: whereas one thought, or word, or look, towards God, proceeding from your own heart, can never be without its proper fruit, or fail of doing a real good to your soul.  Again, another great and infallible benefit of this kind of prayer is this; it is the only way to be delivered from the deceitfulness of your own hearts."

— William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Prayer [1749]

The writings of William Law — especially A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life were a great influence on John Wesley’s thinking about the Christian life. Here is an interesting article about the life of William Law at the Christian History web site: William Law. William Law’s writings can be found at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Works by William Law. A list of the brief quotes on prayer that have been posted on this blog can be found on the Prayer page.

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