Satan said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’ Genesis 3:1b
Rivers of ink have been spilt writing about prayer. Yet, we remain uncertain in our prayers. Do I pray enough? Why doesn’t God answer me? Isn’t it better to do something than to pray something? It’s difficult to find useful answers to our ceaseless questions.
Here at the start of the Bible we discover our critical problem. We can only ever know God is all good if we’ve something evil to contrast goodness with. It emerges in the form of Satan. Eve faces a question and a choice. She feels obligated to answer, for herself if no one else. Yet, some questions have no answers; they merely define the landscape of our life. Prayer is essential in contesting the instability born of unanticipated questions. Some elements of learning require questions posed, then explored and answered; others merely seek to undermine my confidence in who I’ve chosen to believe.
Growing up, one of the biggest challenges was resisting peer pressure when it pushed me towards disobeying my parents. There were always compelling reasons to follow my peers, rather than my absent parents.
I experienced an intense inner conflict and, no matter which way I eventually moved, I was left dissatisfied; either disappointing parents or friends. And then of course there was the secrecy. I was no longer able to live in a transparent relationship with my family. I entered the murky world of deceit, both of myself and others.
Prayer offers that pause when we choose to turn to God and consider what is our best course of action. Prayer offers moments of consideration before we act. It is indispensable if we are to follow Jesus effectively. History so often hinges upon our prayers, either said or left unsaid. It’s why prayer continues to provide the heart of Waverley Abbey’s ministry.
Something to Consider: What specifically prevents me from praying?
An Action to Take: Agree with yourself to pray the Lord’s Prayer on waking each morning.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, forgive me when I use reason to do what I choose without first pausing to pray’.
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
https://www.freepik.com/photos/people – photo created by jcomp
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