Spirit of Prayer

Readings and resources in the Spirit of Prayer—
Communing with God, others and self

Thomas Traherne Page
About The Centuries of Meditations

These life-affirming devotional messages were written in the seventeenth century by Thomas Traherne. He was a minister of the Church of England and a poet who is counted among the metaphysical poets of Britain. In about the year 1904 these writings, in manuscript form, were found in a London bookstall by Bertram Dobell who was so impressed with their quality and value that he proceeded to take steps toward their publication in 1908. I first read them about four years ago, having seen a reference to Traherne in a book by James Houston of Regent College, Vancouver. Soon after that I found that CCEL (Christian Classics Ethereal Library) had scanned them and posted them online. I immediately volunteered to do the cleanup work, getting the text straightened up and corrected. As well as posting them there I decided to post them here and make them available to friends. There are four full sets of hundreds (hence, the name Century) and a fifth, an unfinished set. The full text of the 1908 edition is here.

IntroductionThe First CenturyThe Second Century
The Third CenturyThe Fourth CenturyThe Fifth Century

Here is one of my favorites from the Centuries:

This is a lesson long enough: which you may be all your life in learning, and to all Eternity in practising. Be sensible ofyour wants, that you maybe sensible of your treasures. He is most like God that is sensible of everything. Did you not from all Eternity want some one to give you a Being? Did you not want one to give you a Glorious Being? Did you not from all Eternity want some one to give you infinite Treasures? And some one to give you Spectators, Companions, Enjoyers? Did you not want a Deity to make them sweet and honourable by His infinite Wisdom? What you wanted from all Eternity, be sensible of to all Eternity. Let your wants be present from everlasting. Is not this a strange life to which I call you? Wherein you are to be present with things that were before the world was made? And at once present even like God with infinite wants and infinite Treasures: Be present with your want of a Deity, and you shall be present with the Deity. You shall adore and admire Him, enjoy and prize Him; believe in Him, and Delight in Him, see him to be the Fountain of all your joys, and the Head of all your Treasures.
From the First Century, meditation 45.

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New Hardcover Edition of Thomas Traherne's Centuries of Meditations:

Old Studies:
The Spirit of Prayer
William Law
The Soul of Prayer
P.T. Forsythe
Centuries of Meditations
Thomas Traherne
Spirit of Prayer
James Buchanan

New Studies
God Squanders His Love
The Prayer of Paul
Stephen Mansfield
The Armor of God
a Friend
Quotes About Prayer
Karyn Henley
Poem: Nick Kalfas
A Father's Thoughts
Steve Compton
John Donne Page
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And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born.
Zechariah 12:9-11

What we offer is drawn from us by what He offers. Our self-oblation stands on His; and the spirit of prayer flows from the gift of the Holy Ghost, the great Intercessor.
Peter Taylor Forsyth

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