Shall We Pray?

Lord, don’t we remember those days when our singular thirst was to taste raw power? O yes, we do. We went up several mountains to pray. We sought an alteration of countenance, we wanted our clothing touched by your glory, dazzling white. We sought our individual mount of transfiguration moment. We sneered at our brethren who valorized the knowledge of the word. We saw them as talkers who should hide their heads in shame. Somehow, the trendy bug of discipleship caught us.

Soon we were guilty of an equal, reversed tendency.

We felt the Word was all that mattered. Even when we didn’t say so, our lives depicted so. We couldn’t contend that every voice that sought to push spiritual growth as a lone walk of the Word, of acts and facts independent of prayer, is a stranger’s voice, a voice your sheep must not hear. In a little while, some of us became puffed up; some entered the legalist mode of purity of knowledge, posing a superior leaning of the custody of God’s righteous acts. We viewed flawed humanity from that prism.

There is a point we seem to stand in your presence; awed by your person, purity and power; then there is a time all we do is exegesis; apologist, sounding worded and all, wheezing with knowledge, charmed by understanding. In the long run, unknowingly, we make the Christian walk a dichotomy of two related realities; a sore walk of Word and Prayer contrast. And these two realities become two seasons in our lives. And the subtle bait by the enemy for us to miss the wholeness of true fellowship evolves.

But now we know better.

Jesus was complete. His teachings were apt. His prayer life was spot on. He was a man who will slug out the scriptures with scribes at a teenage age, teaching vigorously in the temple, giving sermons on the mount, in the open field, on a boat, just as much as he would spend the whole night praying. May we therefore exude wholeness of these virtues. May we be careful to casually call them “exercises” lest we blur their significance in the cloudy haze of conservative rituals.

May we not raise disciples, in this age, who give a great deal of mental assent to the scriptures but know little or nothing about the power of God. May we not raise believers who, though conscious of the power of God, live as though the cross didn’t change everything, erring in the knowledge of the scriptures.

In Jesus’ name….

Amen.

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