Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Albert Einstein was at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Studies when asked by a graduate student: “What is there left in the world for original dissertation research?” Einstein replied: “Find out about prayer. Somebody must find out about prayer.” (Philip Yancey, Prayer)
Yes! Somebody must find out about prayer. Most people I talk to, like Einstein, want to know about prayer. I want to know about prayer. We sense the vital importance of prayer for our lives and want to find out more about it.
That is the purpose of our Lent devotional this year: to find out about prayer. In this devotional, Beside Still Waters: Daily Prayer Retreats for Lent 2017, we explore each day the Bible’s teaching on prayer, and then pray. We think that through these daily prayer retreats you will be led into deeper, more intimate communion with God.
Each of the 47-day prayer retreats begins with a short reflection on Scripture followed by a prayer activity. We have prepared all of this as C. S. Lewis advised: “We want to know not how to pray if we were perfect, but how we should pray being as we are now” (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer). You can relax as you go through these different prayer retreats. God will be your teacher!
In each of these days we will take up the Bible as our guide as we best nurture and grow our praying on Scripture. During the Second World War, Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught his students:
Prayer means nothing else but the readiness and willingness to appropriate the Word…According to a word of Scripture we pray for the clarification of our day, for preservation for sin, for growth sanctification, for faithfulness and strength in our work. (Life Together)
Each of the days ahead, beginning Ash Wednesday, March 1, we will listen for God speaking to us in His Word and then speak to Him in response.
People often think of Lent as a time to give up something. But it can just as well be a time for taking up something. How about taking up a daily prayer retreat as a time for listening to God and talking with Him. Peter Kreeft is a Boston College philosophy professor who writes about the importance of prayer:
I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives. (Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them?)
Why not discover for yourself the truth of today’s Scripture that says God is “able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” Make time for daily prayer retreats with God! Click here to order your copy or copies of Beside Still Waters: Daily Prayer Retreats for Lent 2017.
Grace and peace,