The Christian Plummet

Michael Wilcock

Read: Ephesians 3:14-21

The breadth and length and height and depth. (v. 18)

The next metaphor for prayer is “The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth.” Not all that long ago, a plummet—a tool consisting of a string with a lead weight attached to one end of it, otherwise known as a plumb line—had two regular uses. It was what the sailor used to take soundings—to judge the depth of water under his boat—and what the builder used when he needed to test the verticality of the wall he was building. It’s the sailor that Herbert here has in mind, except that his plummet “falls” in every direction, not just down into the depths of earth and sea, but up into what C. S. Lewis called “Deep Heaven,” and out—north, south, east, and west—through the length and breadth of the world around us.

Whichever way you look and however far you can see, there is nothing that you cannot turn into matter for prayer. Intercessory prayer where we see need, prayers of thanksgiving where God is plainly at work, praise prayers where something admirable comes to our notice, prayers of adoration when we are caught up simply with the wonder of who and what he is.

The more that praying Christians find their imagination stretched in all these directions, says Paul, the more they will find their hearts and minds, as well as the situations for which they pray, “filled with all the fullness of God” (v. 19). —Michael Wilcock

Prayer: Lord, teach us the prayer potential of a stretched imagination.