Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ (Madame Guyon)

Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ was written in 1685 by a French mystic Madame Guyon. She teaches how one can seek and experience God through prayer. It is not meant to be theoretical but practical. The first steps that form the backbone are outlined below. Once these two methoda are practised for a considerable time, higher levels of prayer are available. Lectio divina reading has similarities to her method.

Method 1: Praying the Scriptures

– Choose a Scripture passage that is fairly simple and practical.

– Come to the Lord humbly and quietly.

– Read a small passage slowly, tasting it.

– Stay with it until you sense the heart of the passage.

– Take what touches you and turn it into a prayer.

– Once you feel you have grasped the passage, slowly move on to the next portion of the passage.

A beautiful quote from her book:

“Praying the Scripture” is not judged by how much you read but by the way in which you read. If you read quickly, it will benefit you little. You will be like a bee that merely skims the surface of a flower. Instead, in this new way of reading with prayer, you must become as the bee who penetrates into the depths of the flower. You plunge deeply within to remove its deepest nectar. (p. 16)

Method 2: Beholding/Waiting on the Lord

Making use of Scripture to quiet your mind.

– Set a time to spend with the Lord.

– Come quietly in faith, believing that you have come into God’s presence.

– Begin to read a portion of Scripture.

– As you read, gently pause.

– During the pause, set your mind inwardly on Christ.

– If your mind wanders, return the focus on Christ.

– After quieting your heart, you will sense an impression of his presence.

– Keep your mind rested in God and savour his presence.

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