3.03.2008

Sunday Wrap Up

This Sunday we went to Global Gallery and watched a Nooma video from Rob Bell concerning prayer. Questions emerged regarding why God answers some prayers and not others and what is the role of suffering in this world. It evolved into whether prayer is a horizontal tapping into some ether or a vertical and individual acknowledgement of God's will. The power of prayer was then debated as directly causing or effecting events, or to a lesser degree affecting our experience of events. We drifted into discerning the mechanics of prayer and dipped into the unending, unanswered requests that we continue to pray. Two types of prayer were introduced: daily, relational (without ceasing) contrasted against direct requests. Verses were used out of context and onlookers eavesdropped.

Perhaps oddly, we never actually prayed.

While conclusions probably varied across the board, I think it was agreed that Prayer is mysteriously important in the Bible and in the Life of Christ. (Who heard Him pray when He was alone!?!) It likewise remains mysterious to us in the present day as it somehow interacts with a Spirit world that breaks down all the rules our universe usually obeys.

I feel the tension in my own thinking of a Sovereign God who has ordained our path and the effect any prayer might have on such a divine will. Yet I see Christ praying directly for his glorification, his disciples, all believers. There is a lot here and I hope we keep the discussion of prayer going; and that in that mind-bending theorizing, we also keep praying. Thoughts?

One comment from the video that I was going to bring up was this statement:

Don't pray for God to feed someone if you have plenty to eat.

I'm not sure what he meant by that or if I agree conceptually with that idea. What do you think?

2 comments:

Nick Johnson said...

Andrew, thanks for the wrap-up, they are helpful. I also noticed that we didn't pray, but after all, we were getting the lights turned out on us...

The statement you brought up was actually the thing that struck me the most in the video. There are certain things I have been praying for quite a bit over the years, such as God reaching my family, but when it comes time for me to actually talk to them myself I almost always wuss out. It's kind of like praying, hey God, do this work for me so I don't have to. It would probably be far better to pray for courage, conviction, and opportunities. So, I guess I like Rob Bell's point that if there is something I can do to make the kingdom stronger, I should just do it, and not ask God to do it for me.

Greg said...

I echo Nick's thanks for posting the wrap-up, Andrew.

And I think Nick's response to your question about the "feeding the hungry" statement is spot on. Do you still disagree with this idea conceptually if this rationale is in line with Bell's? And if so, why?

Has anyone ever read "Reaching Out" by Henri Nouwen. I've been rereading it lately as it has a lot to say about prayer both individually and communally.