by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Kept by the power of God
Never does the Apostle say that if we pray, our prayer in and of itself will make us feel better. It is a disgraceful thing that people should pray for that reason. That is the psychologists’ use of prayer. They tell us that if we are in trouble it will do us good to pray.... Prayer is not auto-suggestion.
Neither does he say, ‘Pray, because while you are praying you will not be thinking about that problem, and therefore you will have temporary relief.... Neither does he say, ‘If you fill your mind with thoughts of God and Christ these thoughts will push out the other things’.... Neither does he say.... ‘Pray, because prayer changes things’. No, it does not. Prayer does not ‘change things’.... It is not your prayer that is going to do it, it is not you who are going to do it, but God. ‘The peace of God that passeth all understanding’—He, through it all, ‘will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’.
I must say a word about that expression ‘keeping’ your hearts and minds. It means garrisoning, guarding—a number of words can be used. It conjures up a picture. What will happen is that this peace of God will walk round the ramparts and towers of our life. We are inside, and the activities of the heart and mind are producing those stresses and anxieties and strains from the outside. But the peace of God will keep them out and we ourselves inside will be at perfect peace. It is God that does it. It is not ourselves, it is not prayer, it is not some psychological mechanism. We make our requests known unto God, and God does that for us and keeps us in perfect peace.
Spiritual Depression, pp. 269–70