Wednesday, September 05, 2007

keep praying

I was struck a little, especially looking back on it, on the emphasis N.T. Wright puts on prayer, in my recent reading of him. We're to walk through this world in Christ as agents of new creation, taking seriously the sufferings of this world, and so suffering together with the crucified God, being much in prayer through the entire endeavor, as we're often dumbfounded in this world and existence (my take from him and what he was saying, a little Bonhoeffer thrown in; I'm sure N.T. wouldn't mind that at all).

We need to keep praying as we continue to walk in this life as those who as part of the one Body, seek to live in the calling of Christ in this world. This is praying that includes our personal concerns. But it goes beyond that to embrace God's concerns and kingdom and interests in this world. It is prayer in Christ, that is not only with reference to Jesus and on the ground of Jesus' person and work for us. It is prayer in Christ in seeking to enter into something of what he is engaged in by the Spirit in this world. And yes, while we pray individually, it is mostly to be in prayer as those together in Jesus in this (even when we pray alone). So every chance we get at praying together, even with our sister in Christ wives (women, reverse that), or our brothers and sisters in Christ anywhere, let's develop that practice of praying together and resonating in Christ by the Spirit with each other and especially seeking to do so with God in Christ as we bring God's acts of new creation into another's life as well as into the dry bones of life (really death) around us which need to hear the life-giving word of the Lord.

I love the simple fact that praying does matter. When I'm "inspired" to pray, when I'm not inspired to pray. We're to keep at it all the time, for all God's people as well as for all people in general, for the realization of God's good will for all in Christ.

No, my praying is not fancy, and is sometimes so weak, and lacking of any eloquence. Is it from the heart? Is it from a will that has chosen God's will, in spite of ourselves? Is it with the desire that God's will would be fulfilled, that God would be pleased?

Don't despair if your prayers seem self-centered. No! Keep on praying. Look at the psalms and the prayers there. Let's not give up, and let's look to God for his help as we pray.

What better argument for us to pray than to know that this is what Jesus regularly did? And to also pray the prayer Jesus taught his disciples, and by extension, taught us to pray?


NaNcY said...

i agree with all your words here. it causes me also to think something seprate from what you said as reasons of importance. it is actually a thought about attention and affection. i am thinking that if i truly believe...truly...believe...that i would be talking to God all of the time...because..........i would recognise that God is there with me all of the time. and this is part of the battle, to recognise our belief that God is with us ALL OF THE TIME and that if we really believe this...we would talk to Him ALL OF THE TIME. my upper case letters are for imphasis... i am not shouting....but, just talking slow and clear looking into your eyes. so it is LINKED WITH OUR BELIEF IN GOD , TO ALWAYS BE TALKING TO GOD. how about them apples? God just told me that. i am sure others already get this...but i is a revelation to me.

NaNcY said...

i hope my mispellings and lack of finishing two letter words do not distract you too much

Kim said...

Hi Ted, Because of the work with married couples in crisis, I'm accutely aware of a couple of relevant Scriptures.

First, is Malachi 2:13-15, " cover the alter of the LORD with tears, with weeping and groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. Yet you say 'For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously..."

Second is, I Peter 3:7, "Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding that your prayers may not be hindered."

God is obviously interested in (influenced by?) how we treat our wives....Compelling!

Peace, Kim

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, Not at all, and thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate that insight. God is with us no matter what, and we need to bank on that.

This can help us in all kinds of ways, not the least which is to hang in there in faith when it is tough sledding. But I know your words go beyond that towards communing with God. I have alot of learning and growing to do in that.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kim, Thanks for checking in with those great words. We need to hear and heed them, that's for sure.

I checked out the Message in 1 Peter 3. I like his rendering there. I'll have to check out the Malachi passage as well.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Hi Ted! No, you didn't scare me off at all - I should be getting caught up around here shortly and posting again regularly I hope.

I arrived home not feeling too well as a result of some strong emotional/spiritual struggles during the trip - and to lots of ragweed which is not my friend!! My daughter needed to quickly buy a car and was in crisis because her 5th graders were coming in 5 days and they hadn't been allowed to move into the school building yet much less beging to prepare the classroom - so life, as I know it, had to take the back burner for a while.

As to prayer - my very weakest spiritual "suit", so I particularly needed to be encouraged by what you said. I think I "think" to God frequently - but whether it counts as real prayer much less fervent prayer - who knows!

NaNcY said...

thank you for the words about prayer.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan, Good to hear from you. I know firsthand too how strong emotional, spiritual struggles can take alot out of a person.

I personally think that thinking to God does amount to praying- of course. But mouthing seems to help me in doing so. But sometimes I'll get self-conscious about that and try to just think my praying- I'm thinking here especially when I'm in my factory noise.

But yeah, I know I could call prayer my weakest spiritual suit as well.

Hope everything is okay now with your daughter and her class.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, Your welcome. Thanks too for what you shared today, as well as all the other times you share with us. Thanks, sister.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

By the way - you have just been TAGGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please play our little game with us!

Thanks for going over to "raising cains" - great comments

Also - however it is that you pray - please keep my daughter and her class in your prayers - it is a "difficult" population of at risk kids who wouldn't know "inside voices" and listening to adults respectfully from Adam - so there is a huge challenge and this is her first year teaching!

HALFMOM said...

wait - you're in Michigan - I never read past Wyoming in the profile - maybe you're my mystery blogger and not a stalker after all - what town would your computer report?

I guess that means I should give up on it being prince charming, huh? oh well, I didn't find him in Oregon or Mexico either.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan, Thanks, I've been over there already. I might end up doing it on Saturday, though I am a bit busy early on, but I'll get to it soon.

And I'll be praying for your daughter and her class. Yes, a challenge and I would guess it will take time with plenty of challenging moments and situations.