Thought For The Week 4 August 2019
Last week we were looking at the prayer that Jesus taught us in Luke 11.
The Lord’s prayer is a model that covers the bases of what it means to orient our lives towards God in prayer.
But the writer Henri Nouwen has a challenge for us when we are inclined to stick to prayer-in-general:
“If you ask only for faith, hope, love, freedom, happiness, modesty, humility, etc., without making them concrete in the nitty-gritty of daily life, you probably haven;t really involved God in your real life. But if you pray in hope, all those concrete requests – prayers in particular for concrete things in your real life – all those requests are merely ways of expressing your unlimited trust in him who fulfills all his promises, who holds out for you nothing but good, and who wants for himself nothing more than to share his goodness with you.”
“Our numerous requests simply become the concrete way of saying that we trust in the fullness of God’s goodness, which he wants to share with us. Whenever we pray with hope, we put our lives in the hands of God. Fear and anxiety fade away and everything we are given and everything we are deprived of is nothing but a finger pointing out the direction of God’s hidden promise which we shall taste in full.” – Henri Nouwen, “With Open Hands”
So as you pray, grow into the Lord’s prayer with hope as you pray for the nitty-gritty matters of everyday life. Grow in hope. Pray in hope. Know the love and the generosity of our gracious God of love.