On Recollection and Invocation

by Greg Linscott

I have been preaching through the book of Matthew for about a year now. One of the resources I have drawn on in my preparation has been Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I am beginng to examine the area of “The Lord’s Prayer.” As I am doing so, I found this quote to be thought provoking:

People so often say, ‘You know, I prayed, and prayed but nothing happened. I did not seem to find peace. I did not seem to get any satisfaction out of it.’ Most of their trouble is due to the fact that their approach to prayer has been wrong, that somehow or other they did not realize what they were doing. We tend to be so self-centered in our prayers that when we drop to our knees before God, we think only about ourselves and our troubles and perplexities. We start talking about them at once, and of course, nothing happens. According to our Lord’s teaching here we should not expect anything to happen. That is not the way to approach God. We must pause before we speak in prayer.

Lloyd-Jones goes on to observe the pattern of prayer demonstrated in the Psalms is one of recollection and invocation- contemplation of God Himself. Recalling the words of Job (40:4-5), “I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.”

Do any of us- do I– follow this pattern?

“Prayer means speaking to God, forgetting ourselves, and realizing His presence.” -Martyn Lloyd-Jones.