This quote (and many others) is highlighted in my copy of Prayer by Richard Foster. It struck a chord with me because of its simple truth. We can learn all there is to learn about prayer, we can study it all day long, but unless we put it into practice we really don't know anything at all.
If you've ever felt frustrated by or ashamed of your prayer life, you're not alone.
"We today yearn for prayer and hide from prayer. We are attracted to it and repelled by it. We believe prayer is something we should do, even something we want to do; but it seems as if a chasm stands between us and actually praying. We experience the agony of prayerlessness.
"We will never have pure enough motives, or be good enough, or know enough in order to pray rightly. We simply must set all these things aside and begin praying. In fact, it is in the very act of prayer itself - the intimate, ongoing interaction with God - that these matters are cared for in due time."
- Richard Foster (Prayer, chapter one)
Even as we've been asking Jesus to teach us in His school of prayer over the past several weeks, I invite you to join me in praying the prayer that Foster write at the end of chapter one.
"Dear Jesus, how desperately I need to learn to pray. And yet, when I am honest I know that I often do not even want to pray. I am distracted! I am stubborn! I am self-centred! In your mercy, Jesus, bring my 'want-er' more in line with my 'need-er' so that I can come to want what I need. In your name and for your sake, I pray. Amen."
May we do everything for His name and for His sake,
School of Prayer: Teach Us To Use Your Gifts
The fact of the matter is that we are all gifted. Yep, you. Same with me. We have gifts that have been given to us as a member of the body of Christ. And in fact, there are gifts that the Holy Spirit gives the church that go beyond the ministry gifts that each of us possess. Thanks to the grace of God, we are truly a gifted people. The question is... do we know how to recognize and use these amazing gifts? I'm looking forward to talking with you about it on Sunday.
- Pastor Tracy