Wednesday, March 22, 2017


A kind and encouraging friend once suggested I write a book on prayer to which I responded by saying, "Who wants a book on prayer?"  The book stores are full of books on prayer and I have more than a fair share of them.  So, after the exchange with my friend, I went out and bought another one.  I guess I answered my own question.  We never seem to have done enough reading on prayer.  Prayer is talked about, read about, preached about, and studied about more than any other spiritual discipline.  Too bad the practice of prayer in our personal lives does not always reflect it being the number one discipline on the spiritual discipline chart.
Jesus certainly walked the talk He did about prayer.  As we read the gospels, we keep seeing these images of him drawing aside for quiet moments of prayer.  We also hear many spontaneous examples of prayers that matched the emerging circumstances.  He is remembered for many different teachings, but none more than His teachings on prayer.  This particular discipline was so much a part of His life that He assumed anyone who followed Him would in a like manner pray which is why He said before teaching the most memorable prayer in history, "When you pray,.." (Luke 11:2)  He did not say, "If you pray..."  He said "when" which points us to His assumption about our praying.

The Lenten Invitation invites us to a season of prayer.  The Invitation is not based on the assumption that we are not praying during other parts of the year; instead, it is based on the assumption that anyone who follows Jesus on this journey to the cross is going to understand its importance and practice the discipline with renewed fervor and intensity.  And, at a different level the season provides us an opportunity to be consciously aware that we pray not alone, but with a spiritual community that stretches through the centuries into the present moment.

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