Clive Staples Lewis, better known as C.S. Lewis was known for his popular writings, including the book series, The Chronicles of Narnia which were so loved that they were adapted into feature films. He is also known for his well-known writings The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and The Great Divorce among others. C.S. Lewis is recognized as one of the greatest Christian apologists of the 20th century and the strength of his writing often had to do with the way he connected spiritual writings to everyday experience.
For Lewis, faith wasn’t this irrational leap into the dark but was submission to common sense, an acknowledgment to daily life and the things life through God tells us. What is so remarkable about C.S. Lewis is the fact that he can present Christianity in a clear, personal way, especially given he was a vigorous atheist through his teenage years. He came to faith in his own words, “kicking, struggling, resentful and darting [my] eyes in every direction for a chance of escape.”
Prayer was a topic that C.S. Lewis didn’t shy away from talking about – particularly its influence and power in our lives. Here are six C.S. Lewis quotes on prayer:
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”
“We must lay before him what is in us; not what ought to be in us.”
“A concentrated mind and a sitting body make for better prayer than a kneeling body and a mind half asleep.”
“For prayer is request. The essence of request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted.”
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.”
These six quotes, along with C.S. Lewis’ life provide a great example of the power of prayer and how it can change you from the inside out. Prayer is a powerful tool for communicating with our Heavenly Father. It is an opportunity to become one with the Creator and Giver of all things. Prayer helps us to find strength for today and hope for our future. We should actively pray and trust in its power to change our circumstances for good. Your faith life directly correlates to the quality of your prayer life. Prayer has the power to change not only the people and things around you. Prayer also has the power to change you from the inside out. When you’re in need of strength, remember that God is the number one healer and can guide you in endless ways. If your heart and life are centered on God, His Word and His Holy Spirit, you can rest assured that He will direct your path.
His life and words also remind us that prayer builds up faith. Many of us are facing impossible situations where we need a breakthrough in our lives. Yet, most of us sit and wait for God to make it happen, and then we wonder why it is that we don’t experience breakthrough as often or as fast as we’d like. What we need to know is that breakthrough is not something we sit around and wait for. Breakthrough is God waiting on us to respond in obedience to what He has already commanded and already promised. Breakthrough happens when we pray and trust God’s outcome. Breakthrough happens when we say that we are going to trust that God is going to supernaturally do what is impossible. God does the breakthrough, but He’s waiting for us to take that first step of faith. We have to believe in God’s goodness, that God has already willed the breakthrough for our life.
C.S. Lewis shares how prayer allows us to listen to God and hear Him more clearly. It’s easy to talk and present our requests to God, but it’s a lot harder to listen to what God is telling us. Truly listening to God is an art that requires training and discipline. This happens through prayer. It’s very difficult to hear God’s voice when we are listening to every other voice besides His. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can train our ears to recognize the voice of God above all the noise. “But solid food belongs to those who are full of age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). When we practice, by reason of use, we are able to discern whether what we hear is of God, our flesh, or the Enemy. It’s important that we hear the Holy Spirit and recognize the ways He is speaking and working through us. Jesus said, “He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing” (Matthew 13:9). We should pray that God will give us a hearing heart to listen and to obey. Ultimately, prayer allows us to know God better and listen better.
C.S. Lewis’ faith was simple, yet profound. His life and words offer us a model on how to pray and live better lives, particularly as “salt and light” in a culture of darkness.