Over the weekend I reread a chapter in Dallas Willard’s book ‘The Divine Conspiracy’. Everytime I read it, something new stirs my thoughts. On Saturday it was this quote,
Prayer, it is rightly said, is the method of genuine theological research, the method of understanding what and who God is. p194
I totally agree with the statement yet in my praxis I would say I believe that the ‘method of genuine theological research is the study of the Bible.’ When I reflected on this, I realized that there should be a balance between study and prayer (back to JR’s thoughts on tension). I must confess that I’m way over to the study side. And you?
Then I read Henri Nouwen’s Lenten reflection ‘Show me the Way’. In it he states,
Praying is first and foremost listening to Jesus, who dwells in the very depths of your heart. He doesn’t shout. He doesn’t thrust himself upon you. His voice is an unassuming voice, very nearly a whisper, the voice of gentle love. Whatever you do with your life, go on listening to the voice of Jesus in your heart. This listening must be an active and very attentive listening, for in our restless and noisy world God’s loving voice is easily drowned out. You need to set aside some time every day for this active listening to God if only for ten minutes. Ten minutes each day for Jesus alone can bring about a radical change in your life. You’ll find that it isn’t easy to be still for ten minutes at a time. You’ll discover that straightaway many other voices, voices that are noisy and distracting, voices which do not come from God, demand your attention. But if you stick to your daily prayer time, then slowly but surely you’ll come to hear the gentle voice of love and will long more and more to listen to it.
Last night at our prayer meeting, we started by being silent for 10 minutes. After the silence we discussed our experiences. For most of us it was just plain hard! According to Nouwen that is our calling, to set aside time to fellowship with God. The Apostle Paul agrees.
God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1:9