Dear Hope Family,
I have engrossed myself over the past months in reflection upon and active learning about the Christian practice of prayer. While not the only sentiment I have encountered, the overwhelming impression is that prayer is a struggle, that no Christian quite senses himself having arrived at a place of expertise or satisfaction, and that while many long for more and better prayer no one is quite sure how to get those desires fulfilled – other than perhaps more dogged discipline.
Dane Ortlund contends, “The battle to pray is not mainly a battle against prayerlessness but a battle against discouragement, cynicism, and unbelief.” Helpful, corrective, and true! I venture a step further: the battle to pray is not only a battle against prayerlessness; it is a battle for true humanity. Far from being transported into a mystical, spiritual world of pious practices divorced from real life, prayer is authentic humanity, this worldly humanity, humanity fully alive as God intended! Prayer is a battle for true humanity – intimate, connected, dependent, trusting, enjoying, participating in the life God created and, now, redeemed us to thrive in. There is so much more to be had as we cultivate intimacy with the God who made us in his image!
Over these summer months, we will attend to the Lord Jesus Christ’s instructions on prayer, his life of prayer, and his invitation to pray with the earnest hope of not merely battling against the struggle of prayerlessness but striving for the fullness of life we were meant to savor!
Pray with me for our praying and learning to pray!
Grace and peace,