Dear church family,
I am doing a lot of reading on prayer. A lot. Mucho reading. That’s Spanish for, you guessed it, a lot of reading. I am reading recent books on prayer, like Tim Keller’s Prayer(2016). I am reading old books on prayer, like Thomas Goodwin’s The Return of Prayers(mid-1600s). I am reading Victorian books on prayer (too many to list). I am reading Herbert Lockyer’s All the Prayers of the Bible (1959). The list of authors grows and grows: Samuel Chadwick, Andrew Murray, Ole Hallesby, Reuben Torrey, C. S. Lewis, and of course, one from my good friend, John Onwuchekwa (I walked by him once at a conference and he nodded in my direction).
C. S. Lewis wrote Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. When asked about writing a whole book on prayer, he noted:
But however badly needed a good book on prayer is, I shall never try to write it. Two people on the foothills comparing notes in private are all very well. But in a book one would inevitably seem to be attempting, not discussion, but instruction. And for me to offer the world instruction about prayer would be impudence. [C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm, 63.]
Over the course of the next few months, I will try, as we walk along the foothills of life, to offer you a few notes on prayer. Would you do the same? Would you ask the Lord, just as the disciples did, to teach you to pray? And then having gleaned some insight from Scripture and practice, would you compare your notes with me? Would you in private conference or within a small group, share with me how you are growing and what the Lord, through his word, is revealing to you? That would serve to encourage me more than hearing about a great week of financial offerings, or even seeing a whole gaggle (herd, flock, rafter?) of new visitors on a Sunday morning. Although, I am not against either of those things! But to hear how you, by God’s grace, are experiencing a deeper walk with the Lord—that is really exciting.
If you seem stuck in your prayer life, then follow the recent example of Roger, who led us in prayer by simply praying through Psalm 103. The Scriptures prayed directly back to their Author must certainly be pleasing to him! Or perhaps, pray slowly through the membership directory, lifting up each precious family. Have a blessed week. See you soon.
Love in Christ,