But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. —Luke 22:32
A dear friend recently sent me the devotional from Octavius Winslow below:
We must not overlook the individuality of our Lord’s intercession. As if forgetting for that moment the whole Church, and regarding Peter as representing in his person each tempted believer, Jesus makes him the especial object of His prayer. How much comfort do we lose in overlooking this truth- in not more distinctly recognizing the personal interest which each believer has in the love of Christ! “My grace is sufficient for you;” “I have prayed for you,” are the gracious words with which Jesus would meet each individual case. Think not then, O believer, that you are alone, unloved, uncared for, unthought of— Jesus bears you upon His heart; and if loved, and cared for, and remembered by Him, you can afford to part with some creature stream, however loved and valued that stream may be. Keep your eye intently fixed upon your Lord’s intercession.
We too much lose ourselves in the crowd, and merge ourselves in the mass. We forget alike our individual interest in the covenant, and our personal obligation to glorify God in our different walks of life. But it is the especial privilege of the believer to concentrate upon himself, as in focal power, every thought and affection of God, just as the eye of a well-executed portrait may be said to fasten itself exclusively upon each individual in the room. “I have prayed for you.” O cheering declaration! Christian reader, lose not sight of it. Come and lay your hand of faith upon the covenant of grace, and say, “the fulness of the covenant is mine.” Lay your hand upon the covenant of God, and say, “the God of the covenant is mine; Jesus, its Mediator, is my Saviour. He obeyed, suffered, bled, and expired, all for me. ‘He has loved me, and has given Himself for me.’ Lord! do you think of me? does my case come up before Your notice? do You bear my burden upon Your arm, my sorrow upon Your heart, my name upon Your lips; and do You pray for my poor, assaulted, and trembling faith? Yes, Lord, You do. I believe it, because You have said it, and press the precious truth, so rich in consolation, to my trembling, grateful heart.”
Morning Devotion, June 2
The only problem I have with Octavius Winslow is the same problem I have with the works of Messrs. Spurgeon and Bunyan: once I start reading them I have a difficult time stopping; for I will continue to go on reading and reading and reading. Messrs. Bunyan, Spurgeon, and Winslow are my big three in the reading category. Although I read others, I glean more from their crumbs than from the banquets set forth by others. I find more of the Lord’s sustaining nourishment from the simple barley loaves set upon the worn country kitchen tables of these men, than from the delicacies that adorn the most eloquent dining halls. Yes, give me a cold drink of spring water from the simple pewter cups and dented tin ladles hanging at the wells of John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon or Octavius Winslow over the finest wine sipped from most expensive crystal.