We must love God with all our power, with fear, wonder, yearning, awe. Yearn for God with great yearning.
At times this will lead us to breathless silence. I think that some of the greatest prayer is when you don’t utter one word or ask for anything. Now God does answer and He does give us what we ask for. That’s plain; nobody can deny that unless he denies the Scriptures. But that is only one aspect of prayer, and it’s not even the important one. Sometimes I go to God and say, ‘God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth, I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast already done.’ I’m already so far in debt that if I live one million millenniums I can’t repay God.
We go to God as we send a boy to a grocery store with a long written list, ‘God, give me this, give me this, and give me this,’ and our gracious God often gives us what we want. But I think God is disappointed because we make Him no more than a source of what we want. Even our Lord Jesus is too often presented as ‘someone who will meet your need.’ That’s the throbbing heart of modern evangelism. You’re in need and Jesus will meet your need. He’s the Need-Meeter. Well, He is that indeed; but He’s infinitely more than that.
Published in Essays on Prayer by A.W. Tozer and others (Inter-Varsity Press, 1968), pp.5-6.