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PAUL TOURNIER ON PERSISTING IN PRAYER


Paul Tournier, the great psychiatrist and Christian counselor, tells in one his essays about the first time he tried to pray for a solid hour. He says that he set his watch on the table and began to pray, and after what he thought was a good while, checked the watch. Only ten minutes had passed! Several times he did this, just struggling to stay with his prayer for an hour. And, says Tournier, when the sixty minutes had passed, he felt nothing, only fatigue: no sense of blessing, no sense of relationship with God at all, just sixty minutes of drudgery. But then, Tournier says, on a whim he fell on his knees for one more minute – just one more minute after the sixty – and in that one moment felt God flooding into his life in a fresh, cleansing, exciting way.


The hour of struggle had been the necessary prelude for that one moment of spiritual joy. For David the three months of waiting the necessary prelude for the dance of celebration.


(From a sermon by Joseph Smith, Ark, Anger, Assurance, 11/24/2010)

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