Saturday, March 26, 2016

Glenn Clark on Living Prayer

       I have been re-reading and studying literature from wise men who have influenced me in the past.  Glenn Clark was the founder of Camp Farthest Out which he began in 1930.  As you may know from previous posts, our family attended CFO for many years and learned and experienced much in the camps.  I have always been fascinated with the writings of Glenn Clark because he was so far ahead of his time.  Here are some excerpts from an article entitled "Living Prayer" by Glenn Clark:

       A living prayer is, in short, "the soul's sincere desire, unuttered or expressed."..
       A prayer that springs from the sincere wish of one who is taking into consideration the welfare of others as well as of himself, and the answering of which will redound to the glory of God and the spreading of the Kingdom is truly a soul's sincere desire.
    But the final test of whether a prayer is a soul's sincere desire is whether it is accompanied by a soul's sincere trust in the Father to whom it is addressed.  The word desire points in the direction of the thing prayed for; the word trust points toward the One prayed to.  When the trust balances the desire there is power in the prayer; it then possesses a celestial dynamic symmetry that is irresistible.  But how do we know for sure that we really trust?  The real test of trust is the capacity to let go.  When one can put his desire utterly in the hands of God and go off and leave it with him, that prayer has become--as far as our human capacity permits--a perfect prayer.
   But powerful as an individual prayer may be, still more powerful is a group prayer.  Here the essential requirement is that there shall be no resentments, irritations, doubts, or conflicts of any kind among the group.  Knowing the frailty of human nature, Jesus did not say, "The larger the number of folks that come together the more powerful the prayer will be."  He said, rather, "Wherever two or three agree together asking anything in my name it shall be done."  ...
  ...Humility, love, and trust are the essential ingredients for all-powerful group prayer.

In the article Glenn gives an example of a sunken submarine that was raised from the depths of the ocean by pontoons as an example to be followed in prayer:

    Four pontoons loaded with sand or other heavy ballast were sunk beside the submerged ship.  Chains connecting these pontoons were passed beneath the ship.  Then the ballast was released from the pontoons and air pumped into them from a battleship riding on the waves above.  The air pressure raised the sunken vessel.
      He says, "The first essential step is for those who pray to become so weighted down with compassion and concern for those in need that they descend to the plane of suffering with them.  Then extending their sympathy (chains) and "agreeing" together in their soul's sincere desire to lift them from this place of suffering, they "let go" their ballast, dropping all their concern, their fear, their doubt, and thus, lightened of self, they "let God" let in himself.  As the air is pumped into the pontoons "from above," so the surrendered soul, when it lets go of self, lets God send in the Holy Spirit from above.
     As the sunken ship is raised effortlessly by the surrendered pontoons filled with air, so the sunken world may be lifted if enough persons can let go and let the Holy Spirit take complete control of the affairs of men.

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