One of my favourite writers, kind of a C.S. Lewis for the present generation, is N.T. (Tom) Wright the recently retired Bishop of Durham. I picked up his book “Surprised by Hope” at the beginning of the year, and then recently got a copy of “Simply Christian”. The latter is quite similar to Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” but written for us in the 21st century.
N.T. Wright has a great chapter on Prayer in his “Simply Christian” book. Here’s a couple of his thoughts on the topic.
“Christian prayer is simple, in the sense that a small child can pray the prayer Jesus taught. But it’s hard in the demand it makes as we go on with it. The agony of the Psalmist reached its own climax when Jesus wept and sweated blood in Gethsemane, struggling with his Father about the final step in his lifelong vocation.”
“And the strange new promise, the point at which Christian prayer is marked out over against pantheism and Deism and a good deal else besides, is that , by the Spirit, God himself is groaning from within the heart of the world, because God himself, by the Spirit, dwells in our hearts as we resonate with the pain of the world.”
“Christian prayer is about standing at the fault line, being shaped by the Jesus who knelt in Gethsemane, groaning in travail, holding heaven and earth together like someone trying to tie two pieces of rope with people tugging at the other ends to pull them apart.”