Ole Hallesby was a Norwegian Lutheran pietist preacher who died in 1961, aged 82, and spent two years in a Nazi concentration camp during the second world war. His book, Prayer, is one of the most influential books on the topic I have read. I have been reading it again recently.
Following on from my last post on corporate prayer, I came across this passage today which should lift any soul who is discouraged about their participation in a prayer meeting:
From the heavenly perspective many things look different from what they do here on earth. I think that our prayers, too, look different when viewed from above.
There is, for instance, the prayer meeting. One after another prays. First those pray who are accustomed to pray aloud in the presence others. They pray well, and their prayers edify. When they say, Amen, everybody acquiesces quietly in the fact that it was a good prayer. But at the same prayer meeting there may be another believing soul who would like very much to lift his voice in prayer at the meeting. He feels that he needs it, more perhaps, than any of the others. However, he is not accustomed to it and he does not succeed very well when he tries. His thoughts become disconnected, and he speaks stumblingly. Finally he becomes so bewildered that he even forgets to say, Amen. After the meeting he is so downcast because of the prayer he has offered and because of the condition of his heart that he scarcely dares to look anyone in the face.
But I know that a new song of praise has already been sung by the saints in glory, rejoicing because they have heard a man pray to God who in his helplessness did not know what else to do. Such prayers make an impression in heaven.