Martyn on Humility and Prayer

April 20, 2011

John Sargent in his biography of Henry Martyn, missionary to India, records the following from a letter by Martyn to his sister concerning his dealings with himself about his own pride:

The pride which I see dwelling in my own heart, producing there the most obstinate hardness, I can truly say my soul abhors. I see it to be unreasonable, I feel it to be tormenting. When I sometimes offer up supplications, with strong crying to God, to bring down my spirit unto the dust, I endeavour calmly to contemplate the infinite majesty of the most high God, and my own meanness and wickedness. Or else I quietly tell the Lord, who knows the heart, that I would give him all the glory of everything, if I could. But the most effectual way I have ever found, is to lead away my thoughts from myself and my own concerns, by praying for all my friends; for the Church, the world, the nation; and, especially by beseeching that God would glorify his own great name, by converting all nations to the obedience of faith; also by praying that he would put more abundant honour on those Christians whom He seems to have honoured especially, and whom we see to be manifestly our superiors. This is at least a positive act of humility, and it is certain that not only will a good principle produce a good act, but the act will increase the principle.

The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn, 70-71

These words encourage me to avail myself more of the great value of intercessory prayer.

Rajesh

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