Saturday, June 27, 2009

Prayer Study Part 7- Covenant Prayer

An ongoing study of Richard Foster's book on Prayer. Previous studies can be found here and here.

What we need is a desire to know the whole will of God, with a fixed resolution to do it.
-John Wesley

Fear of Commitment
• Covenant prayer is a promise of holy obedience
• Self-discipline is the means to true freedom
• “Prayer is not a free-will offering to God; it is an obligatory service, something which he requires.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
• Duty is “the sacrament of the present moment.” de Caussade
• God, who is merciful, is mindful of our intentions as well as our broken promises

Covenants and the Bible
• God made a covenant with Abraham to bless him, give him descendents & land
• God made a covenant with the Hebrew people through the 10 Commandments
• In new covenant of Jesus Christ, the commandments are to be written on our hearts

• The gift of God who first gives us the desire to obey and then empowers us
• Obedience is the result of falling in love with God
• Means being aware of obeying God in the small things
• A matter of practice—most of us don’t get it right the first time
• Obedience in the small things strengthens us to obey in the large things

A Time Commitment
• St. Benedict urged regularity in prayer
• Interruption of work reveals true priorities
• Reminds us for whom we are working
• Meaning of regularity will vary
• “The truth is that we only learn to pray all the time everywhere after we have resolutely set about praying some of the time somewhere.” John Dalrymple
• May choose to be accountable to one another in a small group

Covenant of Place
• Finding a place for prayer gives us focus
• Place may be within a small group—for mutual support

Preparing Our Heart
• Meet God with expectant listening for Kol Yahweh, the voice of God
• Keep silence—”The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” Hab. 2:20
• Read a psalm
• Light a candle; pray with your morning coffee in hand


Magister Christianus said...

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feetxxxl said...

obedience without love is nothing and gains nothing(1cor13)

it is because we love, we obey, because it is only thru the grace of that love that obedience is possible.

David Murdoch said...

Prayer is necessary for maintaining our relationship with God in the way that talking with each other is necessary for maintaining our relationship with other people. We need to talk to God everyday.

God Bless,

feetxxxl said...

under the new covenant the triune god lives within us. so our relationship with god is one that is within, rather than without.

if one wants to see god, look at his people, god lives in his people.

eutychus said...

Apologies for the delay in reply...

David -Thank-you for that. Spot on.

feetxxxl- While I would agree that God has written his law on our hearts and that the Holy Spirit will enter our hearts if we prepare a way, there are other spirits at work in the world and in our hearts that are NOT of God.

eutychus said...

BTW- David the book looks very interesting. Thanks for including the link.