My thoughts on prayer have been stoked in the past couple of weeks. I did a class on Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, and Eschatology, so I had to abandon my plan of getting through my books on prayer for a couple of weeks.
But Sarah and I are reading Come By My Light which has the private letters of Mother Theresa. We got through the section that deals with her call to form the Sisters of Charity, but haven’t pressed into the section where she deals with fifty-years-lingering-darkness yet.
Before my class started I read the late Stan Grenz’s Prayer: A Cry for the Kingdom which presses into the mystery of petitionary prayer. There is some helpful stuff there and thought provoking. In a way this book is king of basic, but I mean that in a good way. Grenz approached the topic thoughtfully. His section on what it means to pray in God’s Will is helpful.
I reread a book by Dutch Sheets which I read years ago. I once found this book awe inspiring, and there are moments, but I am not going to blog about this here.
But even though I haven’t had time to press into reading more books on prayer, I have been able to make daily time to pray. I have had stuff to pray for. My pastor up here hasn’t been doing well lately, so I prayed for him. My unborn child was breech, so I prayed and the head went down (Sarah also did exercises to encourage that). I have prayed through the course material for my class so that I am not just amassing knowledge but entering the deep things of God. I prayed the daily examen and recalled times in my day when I did not act or think graciously about people I met. More than anything it has been nice to enter back into a consistent prayer life again. I hope I can keep it up now that my two weeks of class are over and I have major papers to write and a baby coming. I haven’t attempted a morning prayer time in ages, but I have found that I can take some time in the evening, especially since part of my job requires me to go and check the building locks. I have some private time.
I am preaching next week at my church (because the pastor is out of commission). I think I am going to preach on prayer using one of the psalms. The lectionary text is Psalm 20 which is one of the psalms that is identified as a prayer (Prayer for Victory). For me preaching has always been a prayer soaked activity, but I think it would be useful for me to press into this and see what the implications are for my prayer life. I know I still have to grow a lot in prayer and this could be helpful. I also think I may be able to really say something.
Well there are some convoluted thoughts on prayer. I guess I just wanted to say, I don’t just read about prayer. I also try to do it.