A believer is never as original in his pursuit of God as he is when he is in prayer. No second-hand faith, prayer brings one into immediate relationship with Jesus Christ. He need not "borrow" from men's thoughts or live vicariously through others (even good men) who delves into the innermost recesses of the Spirit by watchful waiting on Him.
I say this as a minister of the gospel, a pastor whose privilege it is to plumb the depths of God's Word as my calling! And, Oh, what a sweet calling it is! Still, my tendency is to daily read the Bible, confer with authors in my library, and scour the internet for the latest on the subject at hand. These are good, and perhaps necessary--in their place. But their place cannot--may I say it--take the place of prayer. Prayer accomplishes something which all the study in the world cannot. It connects us to the Creator directly, opening up the Spirit-pipeline of his grace. The life-giving blood of Jesus Christ flows through the vein of prayer.
Learned In the Fires of Failure
How do I know this? Because of my frequent failure in regard to prayer! What happened? Over time, though successful in delving into the truth of Scripture or hearing the wisdom of others, I am guilty of not stopping and listening to the original tones from the mouth of God, tones meant for my ears only, tones which are guaranteed to lead me into that place known only by myself. I'm just sharing my heart experience. But if I were to locate them in a Scripture, perhaps a good one would be Psalm 25:14. "The friendship [or, "secret counsel"] of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant." In other words, God talks personally to the one who isolates himself apart from all other occupations turning his sights to God alone.
Does this make sense to you? Have you experienced something similar? I say to you what I must often say to myself, put down that book, turn off the computer, sit down, be still, and listen. Really LISTEN.
Amazing . . . the voice of God.