WHY a book on prayer enjoyment? Most of us would score really good marks in a test on prayer beliefs, but we don’t do as well in prayer practice. The gap between belief and practice will never completely disappear as long as we’re imperfect people in a chaotic world. But the good news is: the gap shrinks as we grow in the enjoyment of prayer.
Authentic living means allowing the truth we believe to shape the way we live. We believe that:
- God is the Guarantor of prayer joy, and
- enjoyable conversation is at the heart of the God-us relationship, and
- prayer (even the battle-and-burden ones) is his gift for our enjoyment of him.
But we want to translate these great beliefs into prayer life experience. As long as prayer is little more than an obligation, a dutiful service or a panic button for use in crises, we’re unlikely to reduce the gap. It’s when prayer becomes a favourite enjoyment that there’s real change in the gap size!
Recently, after teaching on ‘Enjoyable Prayer’, someone told me how they had grown up in a church culture where prayer was important, but enjoyment of it was irrelevant, even frowned on. The message seemed to be: the holier the work, the less we should enjoy it. That’s contrary to Kingdom values, isn’t it? Our transfer into Christ’s Kingdom has placed us in the realm of his perfect joy. Redeemed life is an adventure in the fullness of God, including his joy. And prayer is the main highway for our enjoyment of him. Shaped for Prayer Enjoyment was written out of the conviction that growing in enjoyable prayer is at the core of life in God’s company and is the cutting edge of Kingdom advance.
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