mandag 3. april 2017

Knowing what prayer is - a step on the journey

It may be that some will think ‘Doesn’t everyone know what prayer is’

If you would ask if I know what prayer is, my answer is: ‘Yes, I know a little bit’. This is because the subject of prayer is boundless, and I have so much to learn about prayer and contemplation through living close to Jesus, and I also learn from other believers from the whole spectre of denominations.

Jesus touched many important topics when he taught his disciples as they walked up to Jerusalem, and I have constantly repeated that it does not take only one, but many steps to get to grips with each subject. It's definitely so when it comes to prayer. For me this journey has been long and it is not finished yet.

“…this kind does not go out except by prayer…”
Matt 17:21
Jesus gave this as part of the reason why the disciples ‘could not drive out’ a demon. Earlier in their ministry the disciples had been with Jesus while he was praying. Afterwards one of the disciples said: “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (1)

Jesus answered by teaching them the Lord's Prayer, and continued:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Luke 11: 9-10 (2)
Bible-readers will be familiar with these verses, but many think that they are three expressions of the same matter - a so-called 'pleonasm'. I think this presumption is a fallacy. Already in the first teaching about prayer, Jesus gave a clear message that prayer is so much more than 'just' asking, which very often will be what we limit our prayers to. However, prayer is also about
I really dislike to seek for things I cannot find, but I love to discover new things. Therefore, it becomes much more interesting to think that: Prayer is to be on a journey of discovery, and on this journey I will all the time find discover new things that are important for my development. Moreover, prayer is about
Jesus was very concerned about perseverance - also in prayer. The parable of the persistent widow is a typical example (3). I have often used the image of “Knock and run!” a game we sometimes played as children. We knocked on an unknown neighbour’s door, ran and hid.
Prayer is knocking on the door and remain by the door until it opens. In many ways, knocking takes place on both sides of the door (4). It is also part of praying that the Lord will enter me. Fortunately, he too is persistent!

‘Manna’ for today:

I have always more to learn about prayer
(1) Luke 11:1
(2) Matt 7:7-8
(3) Luke 18:1-8
(4) Rev 3:20

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