This week we are looking at our first kind of spiritual exercise – prayer.
Prayer is something most of us have some experience with…and probably some doubts, as well! We may have prayed for something, and wondered why it wasn’t granted. Or we may know someone who had great news in their life, said it was an answered prayer, and you found yourself doubting.
C.S. Lewis famously observed, “Every war, every famine or plague, almost every deathbed — is the monument to a petition that was not granted.”
More recently, Christian Author, Philip Yancey confesses to “…obsessing more about unanswered prayers than rejoicing over answered ones.”
Perhaps you know the feeling. There have been times of anxiety or crisis when you have managed to put together a short, desperate prayer.
Perhaps there have been times of deep meaning when you found yourself saying thank you in a prayerful sort of way, not really knowing who you are saying thank you to, but saying it anyway…perhaps at the birth of a child, or a recovery from serious illness.
But for most of us, and I include myself, deep ongoing prayer has not always been easy, or featured significantly in our lives. And there are lots of reasons for this.
We might secretly suspect that prayer doesn’t work…and ask, why bother? Or we might not know how to pray in the first place, or even be confused about what prayer is. I want to spend some time with you today working through those kind of questions.
Question: What are your earliest memories of prayer?