Sermon quotes on longing

Hannah Anderson

When we are denied the very things our hearts long for, we learn to long for the one thing that will never be denied us, God Himself.

Augustine of Hippo

The desire is thy prayers; and if thy desire is without ceasing, thy prayer will also be without ceasing. The continuance of your longing is the continuance of your prayer.

John Bunyan

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

Meister Eckhart

The soul must long for God in order to be set aflame by God’s love; but if the soul cannot yet feel the longing, then it must long for the longing. To long for the longing is also from God.

Mike Cosper

Something deep within us is unsettled, and we want to appear to the world as better, more dignified, or more desirable—someone more beautiful or clever than the mope we see in the mirror.

Taken from Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World by Mike Cosper. Copyright (c) 2017, p.37. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Brennan Manning

The engaged mind, illuminated by truth, awakens awareness; the engaged heart, affected by love, awakens passion. May I say once more – this essential energy of the soul is not an ecstatic trance, high emotion or a sanguine stance toward life: It is a fierce longing for God, an unyielding resolve to live in and out of our belovedness. 

Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging”, NavPress, 2015.

Jen Pollock Michel

The simple question, “What do I want?” can lead to important change.

Taken from Teach us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith by Jen Pollock Michel Copyright (c) 2014 by Jen Pollock Michel. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Andrew Murray

God cannot at times hear the prayer of your lips because the desires of your heart after the world cry out to Him much more strongly and loudly.

Henri Nouwen

Practically every human being . . . has experienced that strange inner gnawing, that mental hunger, that unsettling unrest that makes us say, ‘I feel lonely.’ Loneliness is one of the most universal experiences.

Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, Image Books.

Blaise Pascal

There was once in man a true happiness of which there now remain to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present. But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Himself.

Pensées, (thought #425), trans.W. F. Trotter (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1958), 113.

John Updike

In general the churches . . . bore for me the same relation to God that billboards did to Coca-Cola: they promoted thirst without quenching it.

A Month Of Sundays

Tom Wolfe

“What is it you’re looking for in this endless quest? Tranquillity. You think if only you can acquire enough worldly goods, enough recognition, enough eminence, you will be free, there’ll be nothing more to worry about, and instead you become a bigger and bigger slave to how you think others are judging you.”

A Man in Full

N.T. Wright

We are made for God: for God’s glory, to worship God and reflect his likeness.  That is our heart’s deepest desire, the source of our deepest vocation.

Taken from The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is by N.T. Wright Copyright (c) 2015 by N. T. Wright. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our illustrations page on Longing. 

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