It’s usually not a good thing to constantly feel like a beginner. After all, who wants to be a beginner forever. That would be kind of like staying in Kindergarten forever. I want to always be going deeper into whatever I’m learning. But, there’s one subject of which I’ve figured out I will always be a beginner – prayer, and so will you. However, being a beginner at prayer is a good thing. Let me tell you why.
Admitting we’re always a beginner at prayer puts us in good company. I believe it was Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta who said, “I will forever be a novice, in the school of prayer.” In his book, Beginning To Pray, Archbishop Anthony Bloom, of blessed memory, speaks to the beginning of prayer as always beginning our relationship with God.
“We should rather think in terms of an increasing progression from depth to depth, from height to height, whichever formula you prefer, so that at every step we already possess something which is rich, which is deep, and yet always go on to longing for and moving towards something richer and deeper… God gives us so much, we are so rich intellectually and emotionally, our lives are so full that we imagine that there can be nothing more than this, that we have found fulfillment and wholeness, that we have reached the end of our search. But we must learn that there is always more.” (pages 39-40)
Sadly, many Christians see prayer as some mechanical thing to do, especially when they’re in need. They miss the whole point of prayer. God doesn’t need our prayers, nor does He care what words we use, if any (Though for our sake, our words are important). Real prayer is a privilege, not a “have to”. Real prayer is seeking union with God. As our creator, He knows us intimately. There’s nothing we could tell Him that He doesn’t already know, yet He invites us to come to Him in prayer. Why? Because He loves us and wants to transform us into His likeness in ever-increasing measure.
Won’t you join me in Kindergarten again? Let’s re-enroll in the school of prayer. Two textbooks you’ll want for this class are the Bible, and Beginning To Pray, which you can buy here. It’s a classic. I can’t stop reading it and I know you’ll find it captivating as well. In future posts I’ll be discussing some of the points made in the book in more detail. Until then, let us begin…
P.S. I’d be honored if you pre-order my newest book, A PRESENCE IN THE DARKNESS: Finding Hope in Death. It’s a book to help us deal with many difficult feelings about life and death we all have to work through. And, it’s 25% on orders through Nov. 30 and I’ll send you a signed copy when pre-ordered here. Orders will ship media mail on or about December 1, 2017. Thanks for reading!