Tag Archives: prayer

Telford Work on Christian Resilience

The Christian thing to do when things seem askew is not to reject the God of Israel as king of the universe or set ourselves against him, as skeptics do. It is not to retreat into wishful thinking, selective memory, forced biblical interpretation, or revised theology to construct more palatable positions, as some liberals do. It is not to dismiss the problem stoically or fatalistically under the guise of “faith,” as some conservatives do. It is not to turn away in bitterness or pout and wish that things were better. It is to pray.

from Ain’t too Proud to Beg, (Eerdmans, 2007), 25.



Karl Barth’s prayer for theologians

Lead us not into temptation — into the temptation of an objectivistic consideration of God’s secondary and primary objectivity; a disinterested non-obedient consideration which holds back in a place which it thinks secure. Lead us not into the temptation of the false opinion that Thou art an object like other objects which we can undertake to know or not just as we wish, which we are free to know in this way, or even in that. Lead us not into the temptation of wanting to know Thee in Thy objectivity as if we were spectators, as if we could know, speak and hear about Thee in the slightest degree without at once taking part, without at once making that correspondence actual, without at once beginning with obedience.

from Church Dogmatics 2/1, § 25, sect. 1

Austin Farrer on petitionary prayer

It is difficult to keep grace, not to get it, and there is always more. There are other things more genuinely difficult in prayer; for sometimes we are deeply concerned to have what is not ready set out for us to carry away, such as health in sickness, success in an undertaking; and here it is a matter of discovering what God has given us to carry off: we begin with what we want, but in praying, and not perhaps the first time, discover what God has designed to give. And, in the end, this is never worse, for through all his gifts rightly taken, he gives himself at last.

from The Brink of Mystery, (SPCK, 1967), 170.

George Lindbeck on religion

Religion cannot be pictured in the cognitivist (and voluntarist) manner as primarily a matter of deliberately choosing to believe or follow explicitly known propositions or directives. Rather, to become religious – is to interiorize a set of skills by practice and training. One learns how to feel, act, and think in conformity with a religious tradition that is, in its inner structure, far richer and more subtle than can be explicitly articulated. The primary knowledge is not about the religion, nor that the religion teaches such and such, but rather how to be religious in such and such ways. Sometimes explicitly formulated statements of the beliefs or behavioral norms of a religion may be helpful in the learning process, but by no means always. Ritual, prayer, and example are normally much more important.

George Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine, (The Westminster Press, 1984), 35.