Prayer’s Apprenticeship

More than a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post on the way God intertwines his divine freedom with our human asking (Prayer’s Co-creations). In that piece, I contrasted a view of prayer in which one tries as hard as one can to pray God’s specific will (either like trying to hit the small point of a bull’s eye, or just tossing up some prayers and hoping some of them will be answered like winning some sort of “prayer lottery”) with a view that encompasses God’s divine freedom with our true experiences and desires as his and our co-creations. I gave the two examples of the wedding feast at Cana in which Jesus turned the water to wine, and of the Syro-Phoenician woman who was first rebuked by Jesus for her request to heal her daughter before then granting her prayer. I made the point there that, at least with the Cana wedding, it appears as though God shifted his divine plan of redemption so as to include the gracious mercy of meeting a humble human need.

I want to think further on this idea of God’s enfolding our prayers into his divine plan, but this time from the standpoint of the one praying, using the metaphor of apprenticeship.

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About a month ago, fellow Orthodox blogger and erstwhile podcaster, S-P wrote a post entitled Does God Have a Wonderful Plan for Your Life? wherein he takes on a rather common theme in the Christian milieu here in the U.S. My path is not dissimilar to his in some ways (though I think he’s slightly further along this mortal coil than am I, but not by much). I don’t think I have so much a response as a reaction. We’ll see if I can attain coherency.

Continue reading “Calling”

Past the Tipping Point

When we are confronted with a reality grim, horrible, painful, our tendency is to avoid it, to pursue the hopeful, the possible, the therapeutic. Out of compassion, we do well to allow a little of that to those suffering, that the wrenching blow that has been suffered might be better absorbed. I will not decry those who wish to hold on to optimistic dreams. But let’s face it, last night’s election outcome is very bad news. It is hard not to be apocalyptic about it.

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“I’m not dead yet.”

It’s been nearly five months since I last posted here. I am pretty sure that’s the longest hiatus I’ve taken. It was not an intentional one. Since my last post I’ve moved. Twice. I quit a job and got a job. It’s been a busy, busy time. But I’m getting settled in to the new digs. . . slowly but surely. And that is helping me establish and stick to a routine. So, no promises, but I should be writing again more regularly, and sharing some of my thoughts I’ve been storing up.

But, there’s a national election coming. Go vote. Pray. See you on the other side.