The Soul’s Blood

Michael Wilcock

Read: Luke 11:5-10

Be constant in prayer. (Rom. 12:12)

Here we have yet another picture of prayer which, although thoroughly biblical, is a snapshot taken from an unexpected angle.

Blood figures repeatedly in Scripture, usually in terms of deliberate bloodshed, whether in battle or murder, or in religious ritual, or supremely in the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross. But alongside that is the simple physical fact that loss of blood from whatever cause can be fatal. That has always been known. And it would have been known to George Herbert in a particular way; for during Herbert’s years of ministry at Bemerton (near Salisbury) a momentous book was newly published on the discovery and description of the blood circulation system.

This I take to be what Herbert has in mind here, in this surprising little phrase. From birth to death, while others of our organs develop or decline, that constant blood flow between heart and lungs and every other part of the body keeps each of us alive. It draws in and circulates oxygen, and carries away toxins to where they can be dealt with; it fights infections and brings healing to wounds; it enables everything to work as it should. Much of this has long been known, if understood only imperfectly.

And prayer is the circulatory system of the Christian believer, “the soul’s blood,” constantly in action. “Occasional” prayer is a notion to grow out of as early as possible! —Michael Wilcock

Prayer: Keep me dependent on you this and every moment.