Thursday, September 16, 2010

Devotional 160910

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. My day started with waiting in line at DMV, reading and meditating at the same time. Time flies by when your mind is engaged with the word of God and Lover of your soul. You don’t feel restless even though the line does not seem to move at all. I was captivated by Peterson’s opening statement in his devotion. His discussion on prayer is something we seldom consider but important to be reminded from time to time.

The plain fact is that we cannot be trusted in prayer. Left to ourselves we become selfish—preoccupied with our pious feelings, our religious progress, our spiritual standing. We need guides and masters to refocus our attention on God, to keep us ever mindful off the priority of God’s word to us.

In the process of re-attending to God, all the intervening doubts and cynicisms and seductions in which we have become entangled by our self-attentiveness have to be attended to. We require an alert theologian at our right hand. A good theologian brings the requisite skill, single-mindedness, and patience that can help us re-establish the primacy of God in our prayers.

Peter Taylor Forsyth is just such a theologian. A British Congregationalist, he was dead (in 1921) before I was born, but I have kept him at my side for thirty-five years as a friend and ally in my own life of prayer and the lives of my friends. I find him utterly trustworthy and immensely energizing.

May be the thing that I like best about Forsyth is that he is a theologian who stays a theologian. He cannot be distracted, will not be diverted. Here is a no-nonsense theologian who goes for the jugular. In Forsyth’s company we are aware of both the glory and the gravity of what we are doing when we go to our knees in prayer. Just as Paul said, “…every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally" (Eph 1:16-17)

I believe we all need a spiritual mentor (theologian in Peterson’s term), who helps to direct the attention of our soul toward God. We can easily be distracted in our prayer. We tend to pray for things that we desire and consider beneficial to us. It takes a “theologian or a spiritual mentor” who will redirect us to the mind of Christ in prayer.

Enjoy our oneness in His love,

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