Flights of Faith

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I just finished Richard Foster's work on Prayer today. He fleshed out 21 different ways to prayer. I've gotta say I'm inspired.

Prayer is fascinating. It's this time where I get to sit before God: the one I fear, the one I love, the one I forget, the one I worship, the one I sin against, the one I believe fully except when I don't. The one I follow except when I turn away. Prayer is time with The One.

When we unlink prayer from an odd form of punishment and when we realize God is not just a genie, then we begin to walk in the mystery of prayer. Personally, I pray to be more like God. For me, this happens in a few ways.

In prayer, I think of God's goodness and become more like Him just as one is molded by who they surround themselves with.
In prayer, I actively ask God to take away sins, heal my brokenness, and forgive me afresh. I sense freedom and transformation.
In prayer, I resist forms of sloth or evil, active or inactive. There are a lot of times where it'd serve me much more to prayer than to entertain other thoughts. When I include the pains of this world in my prayers suddenly I become a spiritual activist who is equipped to not easily participate in evil.

I love that my choice to pray does not cripple me as a monk (though that might be right for some people). I can pray as I walk, talk, drive, write, laugh, dance, or ride. In some sense, we're meant to pray and we're always praying. It's a question of allowing our everyday prayers (curses on the highway, smiles at nature, sadness over hurt and pain) to be recognized by a God who wants to help us. We also grow in prayer as we realize our prayers have history and the one who receives them has an amazing personality.

Honestly, prayer would be great even if it only actualized a few of its features. Prayer as a form that solely changes us. Prayer as something that helps others while leaving us the same. Prayer that pleases God and no one else. Thankfully, we don't have to choose. I've seen prayer spill over into all those areas.

If I lived a life that was defined in prayer, I would not be ashamed or disappointed. I can only hope to be defined as one in communion with God. May it be so for you and for me.