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“Driving home from church one morning full of Christ, I thought, giddy in the head almost and if not speaking in tongues at least singing in tongues in some kind of witless, wordless psalm, I turned on the radio for the twelve o’clock news and heard how a 4-year-old had died that morning somewhere. The child had kept his parents awake all night with his crying and carrying on, and the parents to punish him filled the tub with scalding water and put him in. These parents filled the scalding water with their child to punish him and, scalding and scalded, he died crying out in tongues as I heard it reported on the radio on my way back from of all places church and prayed to almighty God to kick to pieces such a world or to kick to pieces Himself and His Son and His Holy Ghost world without end standing there by the side of that screaming tub and doing nothing while with his scrawny little buttocks bare, the hopeless little 4-year-old whistle, the child was lowered in his mother’s arms. I am acquainted with the reasons that theologians give and that I have given myself for why God does not, in the name of human freedom must not, by the very nature of things as he has himself established that nature cannot and will not, interfere in these sordid matters, but I prayed nonetheless for his interference.”
The Alphabet of Grace
My whole prayer life can be boiled down to one phrase: “God, help.” Of all my expressions, intercession, petition, thought, or utterance the basic premise of my prayer reiterates is that I cannot. I am unable. I am weak. I am insufficient. I am inadequate. I am lacking, deprived, bereft, stripped, empty; helpless. Prayer again and again reminds me of my own limits. It reminds me of how impossible the world is when I am left to my own devices. How frail my own attempts to tame the world are, how hollow my tryings must seem.
I am the grain of sand lying on the sea shore looking at the ragged rocks of the coast imagining that like them I can hold back the force of the waves, never knowing that the sand itself was once haughty crags and rocks, bluffs, and cliffs pummeled into miniscule fragments by those never ceasing heaves of water. I no more than the grain of sand can hold back the surf. Prayer reminds me that I am not the one capable of bringing an end to the pounding waves or the rolling tumult of wars, sickness, loss, grief, anger, sadness, depression, or rage. I cannot hold back the current of need in the world any more than the grain of sand can. Prayer reminds me of helplessness.
In prayer I see my finiteness. Against the grandeur of the universe I see my place shrunk. I am made small in the shadow of the cosmos. When I ask God to move I am reminded of all I cannot move. Despite my resourcefulness I discover in prayer how short my arm really is. I cannot even reach into the heart or mind of the person beside me and cause them to drink a cup of water, let alone set them free of their besetting woe or transform their sulking day into one of wonder. Far less can I touch the systemic injustices of poverty, the travesty of divorce and broken relationships, the robbery of illness. I am helpless in the face of a world that does not halt at my command. In prayer I become small. In prayer I become helpless.
In the final, psalmic section of C.S. Lewis’ compelling science fiction novel Perelandra the angels in hymnic fashion expound on the small place which humanity holds. Though they are great in that God as come to the cosmos as a human being, humanity is still small in the universe.
“…the worlds are for themselves. The waters you have not floated on, the fruit you have not plucked, the caves into which you have not descended and the fire through which your bodies cannot pass, do not await your coming to put on perfection…. Be comforted, small immortals. You are not the voice that all things utter, nor is there eternal silence in the places where you cannot come… Blessed be He!”
— C.S. Lewis, Perelandra
For Lewis smallness is a comfort not a curse. In the recognizing of our smallness the burden of turning the worlds is replaced by the comforting sigh of coming home. It recognizes our own habitat rather than forcing us live out a story which is not our own. Smallness in prayer lets us release the burden of ill-assigned duty and freely ask without compulsion to preform. In our helplessness we are able to encounter God as he is and not as we have created him to be.
Prayer frees me of my power obsession. In my helpless state unable to transform the cosmos I am liberated from my constant attempts at control. I am set free from my ever-greedy worship of power and strength. In the helpless place of prayer I am forced to laugh at my own delusions of autonomy. In prayer I am freed to live in a world where power is not the ultimate decider. I am freed to live in a world were the last word belongs to the weak instead of the strong.
In helplessness we are able to encounter a God more helpless than our attempts at control allow him to be. We can commune with the weak God knowing ourselves weak. We can commune with the small God knowing ourselves to be small. In prayer I see the God who is not as much as the God who is. I see the God who does not move as much as the God who does. I see the God who is weak as much as the God who is strong. The God who does not know as much as the God who does. In prayer I see myself helpless. I see the God who is helpless.
My thoughts towards Halloween are always divided. There is, on one hand, the fact that, as those who know me can testify, I have a very stringent “No Tolerance” policy towards death. In my reading of the bible and what I understand of Christian theology, the view of death presented is that death is the enemy. No “It was just their time,” no “Everything happens for a reason,” no “they are in a better place,” no “God was just calling home his child,” no “rest in peace,” death is an enemy. Death is The Enemy. Death is the last foe of humanity being destroyed. Death is the sinister reminder that the work of Christ in the world is not yet fully complete. Death is the enemy and every person succumbing to it, every victim it takes, ever human being it insnares in its power, every individual falling into its trap is a tragic lost beyond any which could befall our race. Death is the mocking voice, the haunting laugh, the sinister punch line reminding us that we are not quite free.
And given all that, how can there be anything positive to say of Halloween? How is it that my feelings are mixed? It would seem that this holiday which glorifies death and gore and the morbid macabre would be firmly on the side of the enemy. If it is a celebration of the ultimate enemy, death, than certainly there cannot be anything positive to come from it.
I use to think this way.
The problem I discovered, following through some of the thoughts of one of my favorite bloggers, Richard Beck, was that perhaps I was missing a larger role which Halloween might serve in our culture. The issue lies in our culture’s odd relationship with the problem of death. In one sense we glorify it, idolize it, glamorize it; our music, movies, skull and crossbones graphic tees all say we are a culture fascinated with death, locked in its grip. Maybe Halloween is just another manifestation of this doom griped culture salivating over the dark seduction of death.
But there is another factor at work which goes something like this; When was the last time you touched a corpse? Sat by a dying person? Walked through a graveyard? Read an obituary? For most of us it has been a long time. Many of us spend as little time as possible dealing with the effects of death in the real flesh and blood world. We might see it in a movie, listen to song about it, even have its logo printed on our apparel, but when it comes to real people dying we try to stay as far away as possible. Our glam-death obsessive culture blinds us to our real-death avoidance. As a collective culture we have sought to expunge the idea of death. We have Hollywoodized death but we have not addressed it. Our culture has slowly moved death off of center stage into some back room with spotless white walls so that we might not have to face it.
This is where the observations of Richard Beck proved so helpful. It use to be that a person lived and died in their home, the wake was in their house, and the body was buried there on the homestead, or in the cemetery. And the cemetery, it was right beside the heart of the town, the Church, which served as school, town hall, and religious sanctuary. Children grew up playing among tombstones, homes centered around rooms called parlors, by they time a person was an adult they had seen, handled and buried corpse, they has helped dig a graved, and the rhythm of death and life was a regular part of a person’s life. Yet the influx of funeral homes moved wakes outside the house, cemeteries were relocated to the edges of town, with tombstones replaced with flat plaques to disguise the ground’s true contents from passer-byers, people increasingly died in hospitals, and the parlor was renamed the “living room.” Death has been successfully exorcised from our lives.
The problem with a culture exorcised of death is that is has no context to face death as an enemy. If death is an enemy then it must be one that is faced, and enemy who is not being confronted is no longer an enemy, but a victor. Living in a culture which has cleverly removed any contact with the dead has created a society where we can no longer face the enemy, we can no longer subvert the powers claiming sway over reality because our denial of their existence abdicates our authority to confront them. A culture which has exorcised death has left itself defenseless against its onslaught. As long as death is hidden away, out of sight, forgotten, we remain bound up in it, subjugated to its demands, overruled by it. A culture without a language for death is one enslaved to death.
And so Halloween stands caught between glam-death and real-death and invites us to look at death with honesty once more. This night the dead come and walk our streets, come to our doors, haunt our porches, and give us a chance to see death for what it is. Halloween allows us to use the language our death avoidance culture has stripped us of. The grim and gore let us confront the real enemy again. Halloween affords us the opportunity to be reminded of the nearness of death once more. It lets us converse with the dead that we might not forget the haunting tragedy of our own mortality.
Certainly the Hollywoodizes stylized show of glam-death will be on display tonight. Our immaturity towards death and destruction will be put on display. We will try to cover up, distract, mask, the dark, painful, truly haunting realities of death which we long to avoid. Halloween will probably always be a mixed bag. But that does not mean it cannot serve a purpose, that is cannot be a time for necessary thoughtful reflection, even theological refection. Tonight death will walk the streets and when we welcome him in we are afforded the unique opportunity to be reminded who the true enemy is once more: we get to speak the language of the dead.
C.S. Lewis, in his masterful retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche in Till We Have Faces, raises the question “Why must holy places be dark places?” (249) Ungit, the chief deity of Lewis’ proto-Grecan Glome, dwells in a darkened temple and the tale’s protagonist, the King’s ugly daughter Orual, is troubled by this shroud. Why must holiness be kissed with darkness, the sacred with the unknowable, as Ungit’s priest says, “Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood” (50). Sacred places, the pagan voices of Lewis’ imagination taunt, is not a place of knowledge, of understanding, or of illumination. but instead one of darkness. There was is for them in faith a form of Atheism. A denial of existence even in the midst of a rite in homage to existence.
This atheism in the sphere of faith ever haunts the place of prayer. No sooner have I settled into my routine, relaxed into a comfortable chair, and uttered out the first few lines of my petition when dark thoughts and cosmic isolation cut in on my otherwise lofty words. In the midst of my spirituality there is a stream of atheism running as a wild undercurrent forebodingly taking hold in waters both rapid and calm, ever anxious to drag me away. Atheism has snuck, as the serpent Eden trespassed, into the Cathedral and there in sacred dark has rendered all assurance void and the hollow meaningless with vain and weary disbelief and doubt.
The cathedral is able to elicit atheism because in its great expanse is revealed both the grandeur of the cosmos and our terrible finitude. God is revealed as great and awesome through the expanse of the vaulted ceiling as well as we revealed as small, foolish, and vain if nothing is revealed to be filling that space save emptiness. All the grandeur of worship comes crashing down in void despair at the thought that the only one able to fill such a space may not be there at all. In that expanse the seed of doubt takes hold of my mind bent towards prayer and seeks to bend it towards a tragic end.
Yet a cathedral does not make atheism in an of itself. The hollow of sacred space does not cast the shadow of disbelief unless backlit by some deeper void. When I kneel down in the sacred space to pray and in place of the warm embrace of kindly deity am met instead with cold nothingness and vacant words echoing back abandon it is not the fault of the sacred. Instead it is that sacred place — be that the cathedral, the wood, the chapel, the parlor floor, or closet — illuminating through black shadow some other void, some other sacred place whose lofty space confronts humanity with both wonder and atheism.
The cathedral of atheism is within me. It is my void. In me lies the darkness projected out into the world and welcomed back as a stranger too familiar with secret passageways cutting through the garden path, up the back stoop, into otherwise secured rooms even guests are not often to go. The cosmic interloper knows too well the ways of my hidden hallways and secluded rooms for me to escape the damages brought. Atheism in the Cathedral is Atheism in me. Prayer is the means by which my darkness is exorcised to return again with a face less familiar and voice too cunning to be trusted. The whispers of this doubt are hard not to heed.
“Why must holy places be dark places?” Orual asks. The answer, as Lewis found, is not in the Holy but in the patron. The darkness is not without but within. Ungit was Orual and Orual Ungit. The darkness of the holy place was not the unknowability of Ungit but instead Orual’s unknowablity of herself. It was atheism not only to a god’s existence, but to her own. The darkness of the holy place was her own darkness, her own empty.
As I turn to prayer it is not the cathedral whispering to me disbelief, it is instead my own void returning to me a stranger and prodding my prayer with despair. It is not the cathedral which is the atheist, but instead it is the power of that sacred space to illuminate the disbelief within and finds the Atheistic stranger me. The question is no longer now “Why must holy places be dark places?” but instead “Why must I be a dark place?” It is in prayer this internal revelation, this darkened disbelief brought to light, and with the void of cathedral being filled with Holy, Holy, Holy the Atheist fiend exorcised.
Perhaps the hardest part of prayer is that at the end of the day, no one is there. No matter how many aids we use; icons, pictures, prayer books, candles, mood lighting, confession booths, or prayer closets, the observable fact is as patent as the a toddler’s inquiry; “Mommy, who are you talking to?” To anyone watching there is simply no one at the other end of the line. We jabber on and on yet to every observer we are simply speaking to the air.
This problem of prayer is the plague of modernity. Though throughout much of history humanity has almost ubiquitously held the notion that when they lifted up their voice to the heaven there was some deity, however aloof, brutal, cruel, or distant, who would hear their supplication. Yet enlightenment, industry, and modernity have instilled in us of the West this pervasive doubt. When we now turn our petitions heavenwards we are overshadowed by disbelief.
Paul Newman’s classic film Cool Hand Luke offers a poignant look at the conflict of humanity facing the prospect of a vacant sky. Social misfit Luke has found himself on the wrong side of the law, serving a two year stint on a chain-gang for cutting the heads off parking meters. The film follows his refusal to bend to the system bearing down upon him. In the course of things his clashes with authority finds him in the rain, shouting at the man up stairs.
“Love me, hate me, kill me, do anything” can often be a common injunction the person going to pray finds themselves expressing. It is seemingly inevitable that prayer will ultimately find a person disillusioned with the one to whom they pray. While they may experience moments of staggering clarity, matchless beauty, or transcendent peace, those who pray are often not without the opposite testimony as well; agonizing nights, lonely days, haunting hours of self refection without solace. In prayer one stares at God until convinced they are staring merely at air, that nothing is there at all.
It is an isolating moment. Returning to the place where so much grace was once found to discover instead lonely emptiness with small relief. There is only air. Only emptiness. Only despair? What is one to do in such moments? Is there a way through the air to a God again? One turns for comfort to the familiar friend to whom so often they confided to find this very friend the one whose absence occasions the need. There is only air.
Anger. Hate. Shouting. Fear. Trembling. Shaking. Desperation.
All these emotions and more are ignited at the thought of the God-made-air, the No-One-There. Like Luke we are found standing soaking wet watched as a spectacle by all others, both friends and enemies, as in the mud we wrestle out our lack. We are just talking to ourself. There is no one there. There never has been. There never will be. We have been foolish all along. We have imagined ourselves more witty than the toddler’s inquiry, that we knew better than his questions of our delusion, and we are now revealed as the madmen we have been all along.
Our words whisper forth but we find no answer. We find no response. We find only air. We are the hard case and can not be helped.
Nearing the end of the film, on the last of several escape attempts, Luke finds himself at the end of his rope in a small church building looking upwards again. Here he prays again. Perhaps with more faith than before yet still questioning if it is only the air that hears him. What would this God who never answers say to him. When he is in need what response does the one there-but-perhaps-only-air offer?
Who is listening to Luke? Who will respond? Is he right in his assessment? We, like him, find ourselves talking to the air. Is there faith behind our words to bare them up to heaven? Is he the hard case or are we? Those who pray whisper to the air. There is no shame in saying it. No help in denying it. Often we feel there is no one on the other end, there is only air. No God. No one to respond. No one to care. No close friend to meet us. No comfort in our whispered, shouted, sworn, cursed, sung, wept, chanted, uttered words, only air. only air.
What exactly do I mean by prayer and how did I get here? Prayer has been a major component of almost every religion and culture throughout human history. Yet there was a time in my life when I did not realize this. Growing up in a Christian home I was perplexed by the Reader’s Digest articles discussing research data for the healing effects of prayer without mentioning the name “Jesus.” In my childhood mind, prayer was an exclusively Christian practice. I had no idea of the plurality of world religion.
That said, twenty-some years later I still remain firmly within the Christian tradition. When I consider prayer I am considering it within the boundary lines of this faith. Despite all the questions the subject raises, I have always sought to find the answers within the context of the historic Christian faith. That may seem a narrow vision, perhaps the answers to prayer lie outside the fence of Christianity, yet I have never found myself interested in those questions, or their answers.
My convictions concerning prayer are not what give rise to my convictions concerning Christianity. Nor do my questions on prayer undermine my Christian convictions. Rather it is my conviction concerning the historical veracity of Christianity which propels me to believe prayer can only be understood within that context. As unorthodox as my questions, complaints, accusations, struggles, or doubts may be, they are all expressed within the context of a Christian faith.
I grew up in a Christian family and attended the same Mennonite church for twenty-two years save a year-long Discipleship and Missions program I participated in after graduating high school. I had some contact with a charismatic church throughout high school as well as the experiences of my traditional church which I attended with my parents. While prayer played a role within the development of my faith throughout Jr. High and High School – I attended my share of See You at the Pole events as well as a sunday night prayer group and other prayer functions with my friends and church – it was not until reading the story of the 24/7 Prayer movement in Red Moon Rising en route to Sweden that my interest in prayer was really sparked.
I had picked up Pete Greig’s book after stumbling across his poem “The Vision” in an issue of Relevant Magazine. Trying to shake off jet-lag fifteen kilometers above the Arctic Circle on late December nights in the small town of Jokkmokk, I wept as I read a book that made me want to pray, sing, love Jesus, and see the world changed. I got a vision for prayer alone on sleepless nights in the sanctuary of that small church and it followed me all the way home.
Two years later, after a year as an English major and an other as a Pastoral Ministry major, I found myself putting together a prayer room for my church; dissatisfied with where I was and ready for a change. Through a swirl of circumstance, that summer I packed up my car and headed west to the one place I knew prayer and worship were central to everything they did; IHOP-KC. I attended the Fire in the Night internship and in January started as a full-time student at IHOP’s ministry school, IHOPU.
That was three years ago. It seems like a lifetime. I had a vision for prayer those days. I felt a vibrant yearning to be in the middle of a prayer room at 3 AM and know I was right at home. To spend my energy in prayer and meditation and study of the Bible. My time at IHOP has not always been easy, yet I never felt like quitting, always wanted to be here. These days though I am not so sure.
The admission that I do not have vision for prayer was a long time coming. For months I tried to deny it, tried to export the reasons for my frustrations, doubts, and concerns away from my struggles with prayer. I tried to imagine that what I had was nothing new; that it was a fad, that I would be over it soon, that I would be back on track. Nothing changed though, six months later I am still here, still not on track, and I still don’t know why.
I came to IHOP-KC for prayer and now I do not know what that is and do not know why I stay or what I should do. I am stuck between wanting to walk out the door and some deep resistance that refuses to admit my failure. I do not know where prayer has bought me. I do not know how I got here. I do not know where I am going. I am writing because I know no other way, because asking the question “Why Prayer?” might be the only answer I have.
I make no promises about the way forward. I make no guarantees about where it will go, how dark the road may become, or where it may lead. I am asking these question for me, not for you. I am asking because I don’t know anything to do but ask. I am asking because I want to be alive and somehow giving up on prayer now, even when I don’t get it, seems like death. I am asking because I don’t know what else to do. My hope is I may find, we may find, a way out of this woods into a genuine experience of Christian prayer that can make sense out of all that simply looks like nonsense now.
The subject of New Testament Theology is so big that certainly no one person could nail it all down. Some say it simply cannot be done and others try to make it so simple the most cursory knowledge of the Bible proves it does not hold up. Wes Adams’ class seeks to tread the balance, finding a middle ground to allow the New Testament to have theology both broad and wide without losing sight of a unified whole. It is a privilege to sit in a class with a man of this legacy and to bonder the meaning and implications of the greatest book(s) ever written.
Anger in particular seems close to a professional vice in the contemporary ministry. Pastors are angry at their leaders for not leading and at their followers for not following. They are angry at those who do not come to church for not coming and angry at those who do come for coming without enthusiasm. They are angry at their families, who make them feel guilty, and angry at themselves for not being who they want to be. This is not an open, blatant, roaring anger, but an anger hidden behind the smooth word, the smiling face, and the polite handshake. It is a froze anger, an anger which settles into a biting resentment and slowly paralyzes a generous heart. If there is anything that makes the ministry look grim and dull, it is this dark, insidious anger in the servants of Christ.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
The Way of the Heart
Let’s be frank for a moment, when most of us think of our prayer life we are not filled with thoughts of satisfaction, success, or confidence. Most of us, myself included, would attach to our prayer lives not accolades of triumph but rather guilt, embarrassment, and often a deep sense of inadequacy. Many of us must humbly admit we do not all together enjoy prayer, we do not understand it, and more often than not we just do not do it, I do not do it.
The embarrassing thing about that last part is made evident by simply looking at my Bio. I attend school at and work with a prayer ministry — the literal hub of everything we do is prayer — and yet I don’t really get prayer. I use to think I had a grasp on this thing. Prayer was the reason I moved here. Yet, somewhere over the last three years at IHOP-KC I have lost my way. I do not know why I am here any more. I do not understand why I do what I do. And most importantly, I do not know why prayer.
This is the first in what I hope to be a series on Why Prayer? It will be frank, and open. At times it will be raging complaint, others lofty poetics, others barely a whisper. And it probably will not answer the question. It will fall drastically short. But hopefully we will address the issues, prove the question one worth asking, and perhaps provoke someone, maybe you, maybe me, to actually pray.
So, the question; why the hell prayer? What is all the fuss? Am I talking to myself? to Mother Nature? to a spirit? or spirits? or Spirit? to a god or devil? to the God? to my depression? to my fears? to my lacks? to my anxiety? to my narcissism? Am I talking to you? Am I even talking at all?
Why the hell prayer? Do my words go further than the sound of my voice? Do they run along the ground transforming the world before me? Do they go down to hell springing some damned soul caught there? Do they go up to God somehow impacting that Great Mover? Do they go into me? Do they change me? Do they change you? Do they change God? Is God even listening at all?
Why the hell prayer? Who are we praying to anyway? What is this God like? Does he like us? Does he think we are nagging him? Is he a know-it-all? Does he think he always knows best? Does he always know best? Does he respond? Does he care? Can he respond at all? Is he pompous and proud? Bumbling and foolish? Holy and all together unapproachable? Is he near? Present? Close? Here? Does he feel? Can he feel? Can he speak? What would he say? Should I even listen?
Why the hell prayer? Is it worth my time? Worth my attention? Worth my thought? my frustration? my grief? my pain? my heartache? my discipline? my energy? my wants? or need? or fears? or desires? or concerns? Is it worth praying at all? Is it worth it to hope? worth it to believe? worth it to struggle? worth it to hold on? to let go? to give in? to persevere?
Why the hell prayer? Why the hell prayer? My God, why do you want me to talk to you? Why the hell prayer? Why am I here? Why the hell prayer? What does it mean? Why should I do it? What if I can’t? What if I forget? What if I fail? What if I just don’t know how? Questions, questions, questions, questions, turing into nagging doubt, frustration, lethargy, anger, fear, hurt, and more questions, ending finally with only one: Why prayer?
In the foruth century A.D the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, Arabia and Persia were peopleed by a race of men who… were the first Christina hermits, who abandoned cites of the the pagan world to live in solitude. Why did they do this? The reasons were many and various, but they can all be summed up in one word as the quest for “salvation.” (…) Society — which meant pagan society, limited by the horizons and prospects of life “in this world” — was regarded by them as a shipwreck from whicn each single individual man had to swim for his life. (…) These were men who believed that to let oneself drift along, passively accepting the tenents and values of what they knew as a society, was purely and simply a disaster. The fact that the Emperor was now Christian and that the “world” was coming to know the Cross as a sign of temporal power only strengthened them in their resolve.
The Wisdom of the Desert
A little over a year ago I went to a costume party as Mark Anthony with the host dressed up as Cleopatra. Her name was Kayley and though at the time I never would have seen it coming, this past summer changed everything. After flirty, thinking, and a long distance friendship over a few months of summer, I asked Kayley to be my girlfriend and she said yes. I am excited that for the last two months I have been dating this most amazing woman. She is simply incredible and I am so happy to be dating her. I am looking forward to the coming months and all that I will get to discover about her and about myself. Here’s to the journey!
A lot has changed in my life over the last months since I stopped updating this blog regularly. I made the decision to stop blogging as an attempt to reorganize some priorities in my life and now I want to attempt to make writing an important part of my life again. I am not sure what all that is going to look like this time round, but it is something I want to do. Perhaps the themes, content, and purpose will be different, and though I would like to get back to daily blogging, for now it does not look like that will be the case. I just want to be back in the game, back in the world of writing, and back in taking my desire to be a good communicator seriously.
The spring semester of IHOPU just started and I am in need of $1300 for tuition. I have seen the faithfulness of the Lord in my finances for the last 2 1/2 years at IHOP and anticipate to see his hand at work in the coming months and years. I am inviting you to be a part of the story of what God is doing in my life.
I imagine there are a lot of questions as to why you might want to partner with me in this way, but the most important is simply this: Why prayer? The study of theology, of the Bible, of God is void if it never leads to dialogue with that object of study. If prayer changes things, if it matters, then the answer to why partner with me is as simple as the value of prayer. I believe what I am doing is a vital part of God’s mission to the world and I am asking you to consider partnering with me in that vision.
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