Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Prayer

Our topic this week in Confirmation Class is Prayer. I have been searching for things to bring to class. Surely these kids get tired of my words. I want so much to help my students on their journeys. It is almost 2am and I need to go to bed! I just found these thoughts by Antony over at To the Quiet .

These are great seeds of thought for me (and, I hope, for my students, also). I have added the bolding and pictures for my own emphasis.

Contrary to some (much?) contemporary thought and preaching in some quarters of Christianity, the purpose of our lives as Christians is not self-realization or "success." As much as any other single thing, prayer should characterize the life of the Christian. There are, of course, many different expressions of prayer and potentially much theological debate as to its true nature, but be that as it may, the fact remains that Christians should be people of prayer.

Without the strong spiritual sustenance of prayer, we will not endure in our faith. If prayer is anything (and it is many things, of course), it is the air that must be breathed along the long haul of a life of ever more closely following Christ.... The Christian is not in the business of building for him or herself an interesting & comfortable life, nor of setting up a community of admirers & devotees.

This doesn't seem to be what Jesus called his followers to: "Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it."
~Mark 8:34, 35 New Living Translation.

We work for another, one who truly matters, and one whose work (not our own) truly matters. This is, I believe, contrary to the natural tendencies of our existence. But this process of denying self ("laying down our selfish ways"), and taking up the cross--this losing of our lives for the sake of Christ and for the sake of his "Good News"--this is the path that truly, in the end, liberates the soul.

1 comment:

Antony Hanson said...

Thanks be to God. :)
Antony
http://tothequiet.blogspot.com

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