Prayer - What do you expect?
In his book entirely devoted to prayer, Richard Foster suggests that, "Prayer is the human response to the perpetual outpouring of love by which God lays siege to every soul" (145).
Reflecting on that statement, we observe that God is perpetually pouring out His love. His love never ceases. The human response to that perpetual outpouring, however, often slips from the perpetual into the periodic.
Today, I invite you to consider your practice of prayer. For some, perhaps, prayer is a practice that you know you need but is far too often neglected. For others, prayer is a regular part of your daily endeavors. Regardless, whether you are a novice or a natural, you do well to hear from Foster again when he rhetorically asks: “Who can ever master something in which the main object is to be mastered?” (xi)
Clearly the goal of this blog post is to strengthen our communication with the Master rather than mastering a practice.
My parental grandfather died over thirty years ago. While several photos and keepsakes remain, among my favorites is a collection of longhand notes from his pen that he wrote in preparation for teaching various Bible study groups. Take a look at one of his sentences.
If you desire a richer fellowship and relationship with God, you need to dedicate some time, energy and heart into cultivating your prayer life.
The author of the Old Testament book Deuteronomy challenged the Hebrew nation (Israel) to contemplate their unique and special connection to the Divine.
Prayer is a Gift -
Israel's unique position, an intimate connection with the Creator, granted them the grace-filled privileges of hearing from God and speaking to God. You have those privileges, too. Focus with me on those two privileges.
Prayer will Transform -
My grandfather's words remind us that prayer is at the core, a means of cultivating our relationship with our Creator. Such cultivating transforms us into more willing recipients of God's message and servants of His purpose.
Today, my prayer (literally) is that you seek not to master prayer but to surrender to the Master and that you will follow up that surrender with a desire for constant and clear communication with your Creator.
For further reading:
Foster, Richard J. Prayer - Finding the Heart's True Home. New York: HarperLarge Print, 1992.