Thursday, 7 October 2010

Prayer is like a telephone ... or not

Another prayer from Radio 4 this week

On my desk is a cartoon of a man talking on his mobile telephone.

The caption reads:

I am just calling to make sure you got my e-mail following the letter I faxed this morning.’

For many of us calls like that will be all too familiar. Technology seems to drive our life at a pace that few people want but equally now we are communicating with such momentum that hardly anyone can resist or stop it. And amidst all this is a myriad of changing social protocols.

We wonder how long it is reasonable to wait for an email to be answered

If it is appropriate to text a partner telling them the relationship is over

And should we accept our boss’s invitation to be a friend on a social network site

In an age where we assume an eager audience is instantly interested with our status updates, where seemingly every emotional response to life is a matter of public record, and others are encouraged to add their comment, are there changing protocols on prayer?

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he began by telling them to go into their room and close the door and pray in private … for God who sees what is done in secret would then reward them. No-one else need know what they told their maker or what their Creator had said to them. Anticipating our lack of patience in such an endeavour, he quickly followed the words of the Lord’s Prayer with a parable on persistence … assuring us that if we ask, then it will be given and if we seek then we shall find.

Jesus does not confirm a timescale for heaven’s answer

Nor indeed the method by which it may be communicated

But he leaves us with the promise - that if we knock upon his door then it will be opened for us.

Dear God

In this fast moving world of ours

Give us patience and persistence in our prayers

Open our hearts that we may hear you clearly speak today.


No comments: