Monday, October 27, 2003

what is the overlap in prayer and prophecy? the inspiration for this thought is the fact that i went to another church on the weekend on a ministry trip, which involved praying for people and the giving of prophecy or words of knowledge. it was an interesting time, and a good learning experience.

anyway, back to the connection. i am not sure whether there is any gain in drawing the boundary between prayer and prophecy, i suppose i am just curious as to how the two interact. when one gives a prophecy, are those prayers? are they declaratory prayers? what is the posture of the body/soul at that point? does one kneel to receive prophecy, in supplication?

i don't want the discussion to end up being too dry. i don't like reducing something like prayer into a merely academic exercise. i would quite like to have a specific time of praying for people, but this is done regularly anyway. i think there are a few points that i hope aren't lost in the academic dust that may be whipped up. firstly, the enormity of what prayer is: actually communicating with God. secondly, the weight of our prayers, i.e. the effect that prayers can have. thirdly, the way in which we pray, or do not pray, is revealing of what is inside our hearts and what moves our hearts and bodies. if we are moved to pray prostrate, that does say something about what is going on inside us.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

last night i had a sudden nagging feeling i was supposed to be leading the discussion at homegroup, just a few hours before it was due to start. fortunately for the the group it was not so, and i am now once again ruminating on my chosen discussion topic of postures of prayer.

typically, i meandered off to sleep with a dozen thoughts buzzing around my head seldom to be thought again, but i reckon i could tease them out of the ether now.

i guess the nub of my thoughts was examing our bodily posture as revealing our inner approach to God. i guess it encourages adoption of a holistic understanding of the human being, and that God wants to interact with us in body as well as mind and soul. is it a critique on our modern mindset of believing everything to be compartmentalised?

on another level, i am thinking about how to encourage the group with these thoughts. i don't want to talk at them, although there are some ideas that i'd like them to consider. maybe i'm over-analyzing the whole thing. i guess if i leave plenty of room for people to jump in and hope that people are feeling talkative.

check this out (i'm off on another tangent, chiefly because i've run out of thoughts on the previous paragraph):

++Yahwah, raise up pneumanauts who are apocalyptic/prophetic spokeswomen and spokesmen to your church as your prophetics were spokesman to Israel and give the church ears to hear what the Spirit is saying++

this was the daily prayer on the allelon website today. made me shiver when i read it! isn't it great? i wonder what a pneumanaut is; sounds cool though.

my fiance and i have found a place to live after we get married - not long now too, only four weeks or so. it is quite exciting to be planning a new life; i wonder what it will be like on the day, when it divides everything in two... it is hard to think of life like that, but i guess all our lives are 'pre-' and 'post-' something. anyway, it is a big reference point coming up, and i'm glad to say i'm looking forward to it very much! : )

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

"It feels like i have been frozen for two years and now i am back to life...." is what my friend said recently. the context (for context is key, of course) is a prayer that has taken two years to be answered.

my musings will be about prayer - the reason being i am now back in a housegroup and have put myself down to bring some material for discussion one night. funny how these things act as spurs to start the thinking juices flowing again. i too, like my friend, feel like i am being brought back to life in a small way. prayer is the overarching topic for housegroup this term, so i ponder away...

i suppose the question that pops in my mind whenever i come across something i don't understand is 'what is it for?' quickly followed by 'how does it work?'. i suppose i'm trying to give myself some kind of context in which to use that something. turning to prayer however, makes me think that i should be using/doing it even if i don't fully understand its purpose or the mechanism by which it works. that aside, i still have thought about it a little, as is my want : )

approaching prayer from the question of its purpose, i suppose the most obvious answer is to have God change things. simply ask our Heavenly Father to do something, and it is done. of course, there are a whole load of guidelines and rationales as to why your request might not be answered (has anyone successfully prayed for a ferrari yet?) but that is, at a basic level, its function. accepting this function reveals more about its mechanism, just like an answer to a crossword clue helps with other questions. you ask God to do something - you have to think about what you want done, approach God and ask Him to do it; a basic mechanism.

at another level, prayer is about relationship - the relationship between the pray-er and God. in this case, the mechanism for prayer is the same; it is essentially interaction at every stage.

at another level, could prayer be about changing the pray-er? i suppose it is a bit sneaky of God, but could a person who seriously devotes their time and energy into developing a relationship with God to the degree that their requests are answered not be affected in any way by this process?