The Higher Faith

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.


— John 20:29

O, thou of little faith! “In everything,--” I am quoting a divine soul that knew his master Christ, and in his strength opposed apostles, not to say Christians, to their faces, because they could not believe more than a little in God; could believe only for themselves and not for their fellows; could believe for the few of the chosen nation, for whom they had God’s ancient word, but could not believe for the multitude of the nations, for the millions of hearts that God had made to search after him and find him—“In everything,” says St. Paul, “by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” For this everything, nothing is too small. That it should trouble us is enough. There is some principle involved in it worth the notice even of God himself, for did he not make us so that the thing does trouble us? And surely for this everything, nothing can be too great. When the Son of man cometh and findeth too much faith on the earth, may God in his mercy slay us. Meantime, we will hope and trust.

Commentary

by Jess Lederman

George MacDonald had much to say about prayer. While he touches on it in this section of The Higher Faith, it is the subject of his Unspoken Sermon, The Word of Jesus on Prayer (April 28th to May 7th in Consuming Fire). 

"He that is made in the image of God must know him or be desolate: the child must have the Father...Shall I not tell him my troubles--how he, even he, has troubled me by making me? How unfit I am to be that which I am? That my being is not to me a good thing yet? Shall I not tell him that I need him to comfort me? Shall I not cry to him to be in me rest and strength? Every need of God, lifting up the heart, is a seeking of God, is a begging for himself, is profoundest prayer, and the root and inspirer of all other prayer."
--from the May 1st entry in Consuming Fire

Small wonder that MacDonald began Unspoken Sermons with a meditation on the importance of attaining a childlike nature. We pray best--and seek after Him best--when we come to him as a helpless child to its father. The "self" is what we must willingly crucify, so that we can truly say that we have died with Christ; and when we are reborn with Him, it is with the nature of a child. 

        A Prayer
        by George MacDonald

When I look back upon my life nigh spent,
    Nigh spent, although the stream as yet flows on, 
I more of follies than of sins repent, 
     Less for offence than Love's shortcomings moan.
     With self, O Father, leave me not alone--
Leave not with the beguiler the beguiled; 
     Besmirched and ragged, Lord, take back thine own: 
A fool I bring thee to be make a child.