Friday, September 07, 2007

Prayer as petition

Prayer "'in the first instance, is an asking'. [Karl Barth]...

I have been frustrated by members of my congregation who could not be exhorted to focus on the praise of God or on confession without moving on to petition. It is an attitude of which I now repent. We too easily think of those who move into comtemplative modes of praying or those who make worship or confession the focus of their praying as those who are advanced prayers. It is not so. We must recognize that it is the 'unsophisticated', simple prayers who truly express trust in divine Majesty, who truly acknowledge their own need before God, and who have truly grasped the freedom of the Father-child relationship. Many books on prayer exhort us to search for deeper experiences in prayer or more sophisticated modes of prayer that breed a sense of inadequacy in some and of superiority in others. The Bible invites us to find the model of prayer in the simple petitioning of a child before a father. This leads to freedom and peace."

- 'Praying to the Father', The Message of Prayer, Tim Chester

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