Prayer and Meditation by Samuel Lee (1625-1691)What the Bible says about Godly Meditation through the Word
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That secret prayer, duly managed, is the mark of a sincere heart, and hath the promise of a gracious return.—Prayer is the soul’s colloquy with God; and secret prayer is a conference with God, upon admission into the privy-chamber of heaven. When thou hast shut thine own closet, when God and thy soul are alone, with this key thou openest the chambers of Paradise, and enterest the closet of divine love. When thou art immured as in a curious labyrinth from the tumultuous world, and entered into that garden of Lebanon in the midst of thy closet, thy soul, like a spiritual Dædalus, takes to itself the wings of faith and prayer, and flies into the midst of heaven among the cherubims. I may term secret prayer “the invisible flight of the soul into the bosom of God:” out of this heavenly closet rises Jacob’s ladder, whose rounds are all of light; its foot stands upon the basis of the covenant in thy heart, its top reaches the throne of grace. When thy reins have instructed thee in the night-season with holy petitions, when thy soul hath desired him in the night, then with thy spirit within thee wilt thou seek him early. (Psalm 16:7; Isai. 26:9.) When the door of thy heart is shut, and the windows of thine eyes sealed-up from all vain and worldly objects, up thou mountest, and hast a place given thee to walk among angels “that stand by” the throne of God. (Zech. 3:7.) In secret prayer the soul, like Moses, is in the backside of the desert, and talks with the angel of the covenant in the fiery bush. (Exod. 3:1–6.) Here is Isaac in the field at even-tide, meditating and praying to the God of his father Abraham. (Gen. 24:63.) Here is Elijah under the juniper-tree at Rithmah in the wilderness, and anon in the cave hearkening to the still small voice of God. (1 Kings 19:4, 12.) Here is Christ and the spouse alone in the wine-cellar, and the banner of love over her; (Canticles 2:4;) where she utters verba dimidiata, ubi bibit ebriam sobrietatem Spiritûs, “but half words, having drunk of the sober excess of the Spirit.”* (Eph. 5:18.) Here we find Nathanael under the fig-tree, though it may be at secret prayer, yet under a beam of the eye of Christ. (John 1:48.) There sits Austin in the garden alone, sighing with the Psalmist, Usque quò, Domine? “How long, O Lord?” and listening to the voice of God, Tolle, lege, “Take up the Bible and read.”
Nichols, J. (1981). Puritan Sermons (Vol. 2, pp. 166–167). Samuel Lee, How to Manage Secret Prayer, Wheaton, IL: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers.