Saturday, November 14, 2009

MM Meditation - O. Hallesby on Prayer

Recently I picked up "Prayer" by O. Hallesby at a thrift store.  After some internet research, I discovered he was a professor in Norway at the Free Faculty of Theology in Oslo, teaching Systematic Theology. 

In his lifetime, he wrote 67 books, but it was his radio speech in 1953 that brought him into the public view.  As recorded in Time, he broadcast to Scandinavians.

"If you are not a believer, be careful! If you were to collapse and die suddenly, you would crash straight into Hell!"

At 74, he hadn't lost the zeal of his youth.  Maybe the realities of WWII and his time in the Grini concentration camp had given him a passion for the truth.  Maybe he knew his life was soon over and longed to take more souls with him to Heaven.  Maybe he felt that same burden for his country as the Lord Jesus felt for His.  I don't know his motives, but I know he writes as one who is intimate with the Lord, doesn't just have academic knowledge of Him.

p. 17-18*********************
"Prayer and helplessness are inseparable.  Only he who is helpless can truly pray.  At times you do not even know how to pray.  Your mind seems full of sin and impurity.  God and eternal and holy things seem so distant and foreign that you feel you add sin to sin by desiring to approach God in such a state of mind...

Your helplessness is your best prayer.  It calls from your heart to the heart of God with greater effect than all your uttered pleas.

If you are a mother, you will understand very readily this phase of prayer.  Your infant child cannot formulate in words a single petition to you.  Yet the little one prays the best way he knows how.  All he can do is to cry, but you understand very well his pleading.

Moreover, the little one need not even cry.  All you need to do is to see him in all his helpless dependence upon you, and a prayer touches your mother-heart, a prayer which is stronger than the loudest cry.

He who is the with us in the same way.  Our helplessness is one continuous appeal to His father-heart.  He is forever occupied with hearing this prayer of ours and satisfying all our needs.

If you are a mother, you will understand this, too, better than the rest of us.  You care for your little one night and day, even though he does not understand what you are doing, sacrificing and suffering for him.  He does not thank you, and often he is even contrary, causing you not a little difficulty.  But you do not let that hinder you.  You hear and answer incessantly the prayer which his helplessness sends up to your mother-heart.

Such is God.

Only He does perfectly what human love can only do imperfectly.  As a true mother dedicates her life to the care of her children, so the eternal God in His infinite mercy has dedicated Himself eternally to the care of His frail and erring children.

Thus God deals with us all.


As a crying child seeks his Mother,
seek the heart of the Father with your fears and tears.
His arms were opened wide on the cross...
to welcome you into His Saving embrace.


  1. Love it!! Thanks for taking the time to share this - it meant a lot to me!

  2. Wow! Reminds me of E.M.Bounds - another great laborer of prayer and writer of the neglected necessity connection with the One in Complete control! He changes NOT!

    Great find!


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