Newton's Struggle with Prayer

If you knew the struggles of the greatest of saints you might be heartened to press on in prayer in 2009.

John Newton (1725-1807)—slave trader, convert to Christ, author of “Amazing Grace,” pastor, fellow struggler—on a morning in April sometime between 1752 and 1756 wrote this:

Prayed over a part of the eighth of Romans in a way of paraphrase with some readiness. I greatly fail in the duty of meditation and am forced to use some artifice with myself to do it at all; thus sometimes I turn them into a prayer form, sometimes I suppose myself in imaginary conversation, sometimes that I am called upon to speak to a point. 

Without something of this sort I am not able to engage myself to attend with any fixedness of thought, and with it, alas! how seldom, I would remember to pray for grace and direction in this matter that my delight may be in the Law of God to meditate therein day and night. (John Newton, 91)