Friday, November 26, 2004

Phoenix Night II

another great night last night at the Phoenix last night. did a review of the 4 spiritual disciplines that make up the 'inward disciplines' - meditation, prayer, fasting, and study.
when it came to prayer there was some interesting discussion (and it would have been great to have had more but time did not allow) about the classic traditional "if it be your will" prayer tag-line. I was suggesting that actually you don't find that line being used that often in prayers in the bible - with obvious exceptions like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. the feeling from Rich was that was a different order of "if it be your will" prayer. in fact the word "if" doesn't actually appear in that prayer. What Jesus actually says is "nevertheless not my will but yours be done". When we use that phrase it's often because we don't know what the will of God is but that's not the sense that you get when Jesus prays - it's more of a struggle to submit himself to the will of God that he already knows. so when jesus says that phrase it's about him laying down his agenda not questioning what the will of God might be.
most of the rest of the time in the scriptures people don't use that phrase in the same way that we often do (and certainly how i was taught to pray). I think that's because there is a such a sense of being in synch with God we already have a sense of what his will is and therefore we're free to pray with a greater sense of confidence and authority. so there's a challenge there to keep 'in step with the spirit' and then pray from that place. I know that could sound like presumption - and there's always the chance that we can get it wrong - and what I'm saying is not meant to suggest an arrogance or over inflated self-confidence when it comes to prayer (thanks for your comment last night on this point, Justice) but i still think we can pray more confidently and more humbly at the same time.
anyway, i am beginning to really love our nights in the Phoenix bar.

1 comment:

jonny said...

glad to see you've started a blog... good stuff. will add you on to my links. why have you got a weather forecast?????!!!!! :-)