Some Questions About Prayer part 1 by Jim Tice

I just want to ask some questions about prayer. Your answers are between you and God. I don’t ask anything here to guilt anyone or change your theology. Just to stir our thinking.

What is prayer to you?

Is it a child, you, climbing up into Daddy’s lap?

Brennan Manning passed away very recently. Brennan has been a mentor of mine via his writings, speaking and one very cherished retreat. Here’s a story from his book ABBA’S CHILD. (a book I highly recommend!)

“…a priest from Detroit named Edward Farrell went on his two week vacation to Ireland. His one living uncle was about to celebrate his 80th birthday.

On the great day, the priest and his uncle got up before dawn and dressed in silence. They took a walk along the shores of Lake Killarney and stopped to watch the sunrise. Standing side by side with not a word exchanged and staring straight at the rising sun.

Suddenly the uncle turned, and went skipping down the road. He was radiant, beaming, smiling from ear to ear.

His nephew said, “Uncle Seamus, you really look happy.”

“I am, lad.”

“Want to tell me why?”

His 80 year old uncle replied, “Yes, you see, me Abba is very fond of me.”

Is that how prayer is for you? Is God your Father, Abba, daddy?

Or is it commanding? Is it condemning? Is it commending?

Is it about trust? Is it about question?

Is it about having a handle on everything? Is it about mystery?

Do you do it from bearing the burdens of your people?

Do you do it from the helplessness of life?

Do you do it from your own heart?

Prayer is in a lot of ways like a hug. In the last couple of weeks, I experienced a couple of different hugs.

The hug I shared with my daughter who couldn’t sleep and was agitated by the inability to settle. The hug I shared with her came after prayer, calming words and tucking her into bed anew. It was the hug of a parent — reassuring, peaceful, full of love.

The hug I shared with a woman whose marriage has been ripped apart. Who came for prayer, dropping her life, her pain and her desperation at the foot of Jesus’ cross. The hug I shared with her was for a sister of mine and a beloved daughter of God — reflecting the Father’s love for her, the pain He felt with her and the assurance that He was there no matter what.

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