Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Something We Learn

Real prayer is something we learn. The disciples askede Jesus, "Lord teach us to pray"(luke 11:1) They had prayed all their lives, yet something about the quality and quantity of Jesus' praying caused them to see how little they knew about prayer. If their praying was to make any difference on the human scene, there was somethings they needed to learn.

It was liberating to me to understand that prayer involved a learning process. I was set free to quesiton, to experiment, even to fail, for I knew I was learning. For years I had prayed for many things and with great intensity, buty with only marginal success. Buth then I saw that I might possibly be doing some things wrong and could learn to do them differently. I took the Gospels and cut out every reference to prayer and pasted them on sheets of paper. When I could read Jesus' teaching on prayer at one sitting, I was shocked. Either the excuses and rationalizations for unanswered prayer I had been taught were wrong orJesus' words were wrong. I determined to learn to pray so that my experience conformed to the words of Jesus rather than try to make His words conform to my impoverished experience.

P.T. Forsythe says, "Prayer is to religion what original research is to science."

Usually the courage to actually go and pray for a person is a sign of sufficient faith. Frequently our lack is not faith but compassion. It seems that a genuine empathy between the pray "er" and the pray"ee" often makes the difference. We are told Jesus was moved with compassion for people. Compassion was an evident feature in every New Testament healing. We do not pray for people as things but as persons we love.


Post a Comment

<< Home