11.3.06

The Whisper Of A Prayer

A relationship in trouble, a friend's child dies, the health of stranger, a stubborn heart, a lonely man, a future unknown...

pray

The beginning of a relationship, the new job obtained, the birth of a child, time with a good friend, good news from afar...

pray

To be honest, I often feel confused about prayer. Sure I've seen my prayers answered from time to time. But I've also had prayers that appear to have gone unanswered. This week, I've felt overwhelmed by the concept of prayer. Some friends have presented me with some big things to pray about. An email in the middle of the night caused me to pray, but left me wanting to do more than pray. Perhaps living so far away from most of my family and friends is part of God's plan in teaching me about prayer. If it were up to me, I'd rush to their side. But an ocean forces me to the only thing I can do, pray. And pray I will. I just wish I were better at it. I continue to learn.

Fredrick Beuchner writes, "According to Jesus, by far the most important thing about prayer is to keep at it. The images he uses to explain this are all rather comic, as though he thought it was rather comic to have to explain it at all. He says God is like a friend you go to borrow bread at midnight. The friend tells you in effect to drop dead, but you go on knocking anyway until finally he gives you want you want so he can go back to bed again (Luke 11:5-8). Or God is like a crooked judge who refuses to hear the case of a certain poor widow, presumably because he knows there's nothing much in it for him. But she keeps on hounding him until finally he hears her case just to get her out of his hair (Luke 18:1-8). Even a stinker, Jesus says, won't give his own child a black eye when the child asks for peanut butter and jelly, so how all the more will God when his children...(Matthew 7:9-11)."

Currently listening to: The Camber Podcast on Spiritual Discipline

1 comment:

Howard said...

Great thoughts on prayer, Ryan. I recently read from a spiritual leader that as long as you think you are praying you haven't really begun to pray. It is a bit of an extension of Buechner's thought, I suppose: keep at it until you really enter into the divine communion.
By the way, we are well here, and hope you are well as well. Lots of wells there, eh?