Foster on Unanswered Prayer.

If you are struggling with unanswered prayers, Richard Foster offers this word of encouragement from his book on prayer.

“Many times I, too, stand in perplexity at prayers that seem to be ignored. It may encourage us to know that we have a Savior who, in the darkness of Gethsemane, shouldered the weight of unanswered prayer and who, in His moment of greatest agony, shared our confused question: “Why?”


Eucharist Prayer

Richard Foster gave an interesting call to those who are concerned with Eucharist. My tradition has failed the tradition of Wesley in that most churches I have been to only meet the minimal quarterly requirements (some do not even meet that). Some have lazy leaders, to whom I say wake up, for the day of the Lord is coming and will act swiftly against you. Some, however, are fearful. They have read 1 Corinthians 11:20-30 and think that they are treating the Lord’s Supper in such a way as to cause “damnation.” They might feel unworthy and want people to feel the immensity of the Supper by having it little. Here is the quote from Foster:

Do not hesitate because you feel unworthy; this Meal is expressly for the unworthy! Come! Eat! Drink! – Foster, Prayer

Some still do no understand it. They find it confusing and troubling. To them I quote C.S. Lewis:

The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand – Lewis, Letters to Malcolm

And to those who have been burned by the arguments and situations in talks about Communion or situations surrounding Communion, here the words of Saint Maximus the Confessor:

Christ is truly present among us, and his life is truly imparted to us, but how it all works is a holy mystery. – Saint Maximus the Confessor

I pray that my home denomination, Wesleyan, begins taking seriously the Lord’s Supper. We claim to follow Wesley, an Anglican. Anglicans take Communion at least once every week. Take courage and know that the Table is open to those who seek to come to God. Take courage that we are simply called to take part in this. Take courage in that this thing is higher than our understanding, which only means we are participating in something bigger than we can comprehend.

So tear the bread, pour the wine, and say the words.

And let the people take with want, eat with passion, and drink with yearning for the grace and power of our Lord and Savior.

Grace and peace to you all.

Sacramenetal Prayer

This is a very mind altering quote from Richard Foster.

    “Over the centuries an unfortunate and…completely unnecessary division has arisen among Christians. On the one side are those who stress liturgy and sacrament and written prayer. On the other side are those who stress intimacy and informality and spontaneous prayer. And each group looks at the other in pious condescension. It is here that we need the holy conjunction ‘and.’ We need not be forced to choose on over another.” – Richard Foster, “Prayer” pg. 105.

I prayer that God shows us not to be so divided and judgmental.From the Quakers to the Catholics, and from the Baptist to the Anglicans, may you see each other as brothers and contributors to each others spiritual journey.

Prayer of Adoration

Here is a quote that is challenging me today. I confess to God that I have complained about my job, life, and other things. I struggle to move to thankfulness in order to reach adoration of my King.

“Try to live one entire day in utter thanksgiving. Balance every complaint with ten gratitudes, every criticism with ten compliments. When we practice gratitude, a time will come when we find ourselves say ‘not please, but thank you’ as Annie Dillard notes in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.” – Richard Foster, Prayer

Covenant Prayer

This reading is from Richard Foster’s Prayer. It is very hard sometimes to keep up the effort to retreat to prayer. Remember that God is drawing you and you are responding by seeking time with Him. Let Him seclude you at some point today.

“Blessed Savior, I pace back and forth at the altar of commitment. I really do want a fixed habit of Prayer…Help me to so delight in your presence that I will want to come home to you often.”

Reflections on Lent (Sunday #1)

I’ve been going through a few readings during this lent season. On top of the normal Scripture readings is Richard Foster’s Prayer, Ben Witherington’s Jesus the Seer, and Ceil and Moishe Rosen’s Christ in the Passover. I have had no great epiphanies about life, the Church, or Christ yet, but I am being reminded of different prayer types and different ways to practice them in the Christian faith.

I mentioned on Ash Wednesday the idea of turning lent inward and focusing on inward repentance instead of outward material symbols. That is what I am doing this year. I’m hoping God shows me much revelation and grace in this. Who knows, maybe I’ll understand the resurrection better. I’ll keep updating on Sunday what I have learned the previous week.

I wish you all a Lent full of reflection and revelation.

Grace and peace.

Formation Prayer

Hear this quote by the contemporary Christian discipline author Richard Foster.

“None of us will keep up a life of prayer unless we are prepared to change. We will either give it up or turn it into a little system that maintains the form of godliness but denies the power of it – which is the same thing as giving it up.” Prayer, pg. 57

When you pray today, ask what you are willing to change in yourself so that you can be made more like Christ.