Congress Street Church
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Evolving Followers of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
Prayer is a response of humanity to the divine. Within the Christian Community, prayer is seen as a way of connecting with God.
John Wesley, the leader of the early Methodist Movement, wrote:
God's command to "pray without ceasing" is founded on the necessity we have of God's grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air. Whether we think of; or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for God, all is prayer, when we have no other object than God's love and the desire of pleasing God. All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God, without either adding to or diminishing from it by his own choice. Prayer continues in the desire of the heart, though the understanding be employed on outward things. In souls filled with love, the desire to please God is a continual prayer. (from A Plain Account of Christian Perfection)
As Christian thought progresses, here are some considerations. Prayers can come in many types, shapes, sizes - formal, informal, liturgical, personal. There is no right or correct way to pray - you can pray in anger; you can pray for healing; you can pray in joy; you can pray for peace. Does your prayer reflect your theology? Do you have to believe in God to pray? If you don't pray or don't "feel" anything from prayer, does that mean something is wrong or that you don't have belief in God? Prayer won't change anything about God - prayer changes you. God only does what God can do in any particular situation. In some of our darkest places - where the pain, loss, addiction, suffering is overwhelming - the best prayer that may be offered is the one that cannot be prayed.