kinds of prayer


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shared in Philadelphia, Nov 2009

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  • kinds of prayer

    1. 1. prayer … … as a way of life
    2. 2. Prayer For the rest of us
    3. 3. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray for me … Pray … (Ephesians 6:18-20)
    4. 4. Matthew 6 ‘Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 ‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.*
    5. 5. 5 ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.* 7 ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
    6. 6. 9 ‘Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.* 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us to the time of trial,* but rescue us from the evil one.* 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father
    7. 7. To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world. – Karl Barth
    8. 8. Our Father, above us and all around us … May your unspeakable Name be revered. Here on earth may your kingdom come. On earth, as in heaven, may your will be done.
    9. 9. Give us today our bread for today. Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive. Lead us away from the perilous trial; liberate us from the evil.
    10. 10. For the kingdom is yours and yours alone, the power is yours and yours alone, and the glory is yours and yours alone, Now and forever. Amen.
    11. 11. Conventional View Emerging View The Human God created the world as perfect, God created the world as good, but Situation: What but because our primal human beings – as individuals, and as is the story that ancestors, Adam and Eve, did groups – have rebelled against God and we find not maintain the absolute filled the world with evil and injustice ourselves in? perfection demanded by God, like a terrible disease. God wants to save God has irrevocably determined humanity and heal it from its sickness, that the entire universe and all it but humanity is hopelessly lost and contains will be destroyed, and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, the souls of all human beings – wandering farther and farther into except for those specifically lostness and danger. Left to themselves, exempted – will be forever human beings will spiral downward in punished for their imperfection sickness and evil. in hell.1 Basic Since everyone is doomed to Since the human race is in such desperate Questions: What hell, Jesus seeks to answer these trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this questions did questions: how can individuals question: what must be done about the Jesus come to be saved from eternal mess we’re in? The mess refers both to answer? punishment in hell and instead the general human condition and its go to heaven after they die? How specific outworking among his can God help individuals be contemporaries: living under domination happy and successful until then? by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: Jesus says, in essence, “If you Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and How did Jesus want to be among those groups – including your own religious respond to the specifically qualified to escape leaders - are leading you farther and crisis? being forever punished for your farther astray. I have been sent by God sins in hell, you must repent of with this good news – that God loves your individual sins and believe humanity, even in its lostness and sin. that my Father punished me on God graciously invites everyone and the cross so He won’t have to anyone to question and reject what they punish you in hell. Only if you have been told and instead follow a new believe this will you go to path. Trust me and become my disciple, heaven when everyone else is and you will be transformed, and you will banished to hell.”2 This is the participate in the transformation of the good news. world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
    12. 12. Springtime prayers ...
    13. 13. Here! (prayer of invocation) prayer that awakens Here I am, Lord. Her you are, Lord. Here we are together.
    14. 14. Thanks! (prayer of thanksgiving) prayer that rejoices
    15. 15. Thanks! (prayer of thanksgiving) prayer that rejoices Happiness doesn’t come from having, but from appreciating ... “Don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone …”
    16. 16. O! (prayer of worship and praise) prayer that turns from appreciation of the gift to appreciation of the giver ... You are ...
    17. 17. Summer-time prayers ...
    18. 18. Sorry! (prayer of confession) prayer that regrets
    19. 19. Sorry! (prayer of confession) If you can’t be perfect/pure, at least be ... Regret versus denial, blame, self- defense The self that confesses steps away from the self that transgresses Having compassion on yourself
    20. 20. Help! (prayer of petition) prayer that reaches out
    21. 21. Help! (prayer of petition) Admitting weaknesses and needs, creating receptivity … “I’m not OK” Need versus pretense, humility versus pride, brokenness versus bitterness. For me, for us ...
    22. 22. Please! (prayer of intercession) prayer that builds compassion
    23. 23. Please! (prayer of intercession) prayer that builds compassion Callous heart, overwhelmed heart Joining the heart to the heart of God Siding with how things should (and could) be. Prayer for enemies ...
    24. 24. Autumn prayers ... Here, thanks, O! Sorry, help, please!
    25. 25. When? (prayer of aspiration, exasperation) prayer that waits How long? Too long! (exasperation) Acknowledging “the gap”
    26. 26. No! (prayer of outrage) prayer that refuses to be silent: This is unacceptable!
    27. 27. Why? (prayer of lament) prayer that groans
    28. 28. Why? (prayer of lament) A faith that can admit it doesn’t understand, it doesn’t know - but it still believes. Options - God? Pain? Neither? Both? Living in the mystery and pain
    29. 29. Winter prayers ... Here, thanks, O! Sorry, help, please! When? No! Why?
    30. 30. Behold. (prayer of meditation) prayer that sees
    31. 31. Behold. (prayer of meditation) There is a difference between the real God and my beliefs about God. The power of focused attention ...
    32. 32. Behold. (prayer of meditation) There is a difference between the real God and my beliefs about God. The power of focused attention ... Seeing beyond analyzing (Non-dual seeing)
    33. 33. Yes. (prayer of consecration) prayer that joins God
    34. 34. Yes. (prayer of consecration) prayer that joins God In peace. In suffering. In service. In patience. In work. In self-giving. In rest.
    35. 35. [-] (prayer of contemplation) prayer that listens
    36. 36. [-] (prayer of contemplation) Psalm 131 - a weaned child, listening to the heartbeat. Quietness versus anxiety, stillness versus turbulence
    37. 37. Thoughts on Silence from Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart (Ballantine, 1981), pp 39-45
    38. 38. Let us focus for a moment on theological education. What else is the goal of theological education than to bring us closer to the Lord our God so that we may be more faithful to the great commandment to love him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind, and our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37)? Seminaries and divinity schools must lead theology students into an ever-growing communion with God, with each other, and with their fellow human beings. Theological education is meant to form our whole person toward an increasing conformity with the mind of Christ so that our way of praying and our way of believing will be one.
    39. 39. But is this what takes place? Often it seems that we who study or teach theology find ourselves entangled in such a complex network of discussions, debates, and arguments about God and "God-issues" that a simple conversation with God or a simple presence to God has become practically impossible. Our heightened verbal ability, which enables us to make many distinctions, has sometimes become a poor substitute for a single-minded commitment to the Word who is life.
    40. 40. ...This is not to say that critical intellectual work and the subtle distinctions it requires have no place in theological training. But when our words are no longer a reflection of the divine Word in and through whom the world has been created and redeemed, they lose their grounding and become as seductive and misleading as
    41. 41. The Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu expresses this well in the following way: “The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten. The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten. The purpose of the word is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.”
    42. 42. Diadochus of Photiki offers us a very concrete image: “When the door of the steambath is continually left open, the heat inside rapidly escapes through it; likewise the soul, in its desire to say many things, dissipates its remembrance of God through the door of speech, even though everything it says may be good. Thereafter, the intellect, though lacking appropriate ideas, pours out a welter of confused thoughts to anyone it meets ...”
    43. 43. Winter prayers ... Here, thanks, O! Sorry, help, please! When? No! Why? Behold. Yes. [ - ] Then, Spring again!
    44. 44. Prayer The Leader’s Secret Life