Prayer

I was reading an article: The Collapse of the Liberal Church and was struck by something at the end. First, however, I was struck by the very nature of the piece. It is not very popular to discuss the death of churches that have abandoned preaching Christ and Him crucified. This article specifically notes the lack of prayer in the church.

In the past few years, Mr. Ewart (A retired pastor) has spent time hanging out with evangelicals – people who actually talk about loving Jesus. He admires their personal, emotional connection to God. Lately, he has even started praying. Perhaps he could pray for the church in which he spent his life to stop its self-immolation. But it’s probably too late.

This is a pastor of the Canadian Anglican church, and lately (retired now) he has begun to pray. Liberal churches like this are dead, and any churches that are now emulating this are terminally ill. the only thing that can heal the sick churches and resurrect the dead ones is the power of Christ in the Gospel, and of course, prayer.

This led me to think of the excellent post by my friend medievalotaku on the topic of prayer. While I do think here and there in the article he confounds together Justification (passive faith that saves) and Sanctification (Active faith in love for Christ) a bit,  it is certainly true that without prayer, the Christian is willfully cutting himself off from God, which is highly dangerous and to be repented. However, medievalotaku discusses the topic thoroughly and you definitely should read his advice on prayer.

Remember that the unassisted human will or intellect will fall without God’s aid.  So, all serious falls may be attributed to people trusting too much in themselves or being too proud to beg.  (The Latin verb for to pray, orare, also means beg.)  Remember Martin Luther’s last words: “We are beggars.  This is true.”  And especially in our reliance on God, nothing is more true.  Nor should we despair of gaining the object of our prayers, especially if we pray “(1) for [ourselves]; (2) things necessary for salvation; (3) piously; and (4) with perseverance.”  (From St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica Second Part of the Second Part, Question 83, Article 15)  Did not Christ say: “And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone? or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13)

It is a thoughtful and excellent exposition, to it is worth reading the whole thing. (all those links are for the same page 🙂 seriously go read it 🙂 )

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