Readings for the Week of September 28
Keeping It Weird wraps up this weekend with our final message on prayer. What is this thing called prayer? No one denies that prayer is central to the Christian life. But, what does it look like to be a person of prayer?
Prayer is not unlike the air we breathe. We hardly notice it, but if it were to disappear so would we. Our life is animated by the breath we draw in every second but we have grown so accustomed to it that we hardly notice. However, when our breathing becomes labored we not only notice, we panic. We may require artificial respiration, a machine that breathes for us. When prayer disappears from our lives we need forms that guide us in prayer. Sometimes we need someone to pray and breathe for us.
One one hand, prayer is simple, straightforward, and uniform. Wheatland prays the Lord’s Prayer together each week. We use the word “trespasses”. We know this ahead of time. Our rhythm of prayer is set, simple, and the same. We may even desribe it as comfortable.
On the other hand, prayer is as varied and as unique as each person. This is how it should be. Expressing ourselves to God, sharing with him our greatest joys and deepest pains is not only good for us it follows an important Biblical model. Abraham, Moses, David, and countless others poured out their hearts to God in unique, and sometimes troubling, prose. Their expressions of prayer were authentic to their experience. With this in mind, C.S. Lewis once wrote, “May it be the real me that speaks and the real you that I speak to.”
Christian prayer flies on two wings: one wing is the words of prayer we have been given from the Psalms, and the Lord’s Prayer, to the collects and liturgies we employ in corporate worship. The other is the words that rise up from our heart and gut. The words that are ours alone and even those words that aren’t there at all. Even our anguished silence can be prayer.
On that final note, here is your prayer for the week:
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.