A Christian view of prayer is founded on a unique insight. God is already communicating and inviting us to participate. Christ is already praying for us and the Holy Spirit is already bringing our prayers to expression. Our prayers are a response, hearing what God is saying and daring to speak from our hearts. Prayer in the Trinity is an invitation to participate in the conversation of prayer.
Most of us have trouble praying, and for a very good reason. We seem to know that theologically, prayer is impossible. Who are we to talk to God? How can our words mean anything to God? All the great theologians of prayer have recognized this. We cannot pray.
But God is already doing what we cannot do. And God is inviting us to participate. We cannot initiate prayer, but we can join in, listening and responding to what God is already doing.
The New Testament is very clear in saying that Jesus Christ prayed. More than that, he continues to pray for us even now, interceding on our behalf. On the basis of his prayers for us, our prayers for ourselves and for each other are lifted up and offered effectively on our behalf. Christ makes prayer possible.
Likewise the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, probing the depths of our hidden selves and raising our deep yearnings to awareness and expression.
In the prayers of Christ and through the intercessions of the Spirit, God is already communicating, engaging us in what we experience as prayer. For this reason, we can see prayer as something that is already going on. It is not something we initiate. It is something we are invited to join.
Prayer in the Trinity explores at length the way the New Testament speaks of God and prayer. It draws on theologians from Origen to Moltmann, offering up an invitation to pray grounded in a distinctly Christian view of prayer.
About Ron Cole-Turner
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Published October 20, 2012
by Ron Cole-Turner.
Religion & Spirituality.