WHY a book on prayer enjoyment? Most of us score high in prayer beliefs, but don’t do as well in prayer practice. As long as we are imperfect people the gap between belief and practice will never completely disappear, but it will shrink 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 mainly a duty, religious custom or a panic button for use in crises there is unlikely to be much change in the gap size. It’s when prayer becomes a favourite enjoyment that big change happens.
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.