Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prayer Study 9- Prayer of Rest

Ongoing study of Richard Foster's book "Prayer." Previous studies can be found here.

Rest. Rest. Rest in God’s love. The only work you are required now to do is to give your most intense attention to His still, small voice within. -Madame Jeanne Guyon

• Like being in the eye of the storm while we are surrounded by chaos
• The invitation of Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matt. 11:29

Sabbath Prayer
• Not primarily a cessation of work
• Means surrendering our desire to get ahead and get more
• Means trusting God to care for us
• “Does not promote inactivity, but it does promote dependent activity”

Prayer in the Middle Voice
• “Resting in God does not mean resignation or idleness. It does not mean that we sit back and hope God will do something. That is a Hindu concept of prayer, in which we sink passively into the impersonal and fated will of gods and goddesses.”
• “In the middle voice we both act and are acted upon. We participate in the formation of the action and reap the benefits of it.”
• Called “holy leisure”—continuing our daily life in the presence of God

Activity of the Trinity
• Work of prayer is not ours alone
• “The spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Rom. 8:26-27
• “The Spirit reshapes, refines, and reinterprets our feeble, ego-driven prayers. We can rest in this work of the Spirit on our behalf.”
• We participate in the trinitarian communion
• God the Spirit interprets our words and sighs
• God the Son pleads our case before God the Father
• God the Father hears our prayers as part of the divine trilogue

Classical Sabbath Prayer
• Solitude
• Simplifies us
• We learn to let go
• Follows Jesus’ pattern of prayer
• Silencio
• A renunciation of our grasping, controlling natures
• Allows God to rearrange our priorities
• Allows us to hear God
• Recollection
• “Focus”
• “Tranquility of mind, heart and spirit”
Cupping the Hands Lightly
• “The hands of God are cupped lightly. We have enough freedom so that we can stretch and grow, but also we have enough protection so that we will not be injured—and so we can be healed.”

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