Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Yancy on Prayer

During the summer our Sunday am Bible class is taking a break from our Matthew series and we are going through Phillip Yancy's book Prayer. I have chapters 9 & 10 to teach this Sunday. There is too much to cover in one week and so many rabbits to chase... Yancy writes every paragraph with layers and layers of meaning to apply and contemplate.

After reading the two chapters over and over, I have decided that instead of actually teaching all the content, I am going to discuss 4 central ideas that hit me from what he said.

Tell me what you think.

1. The inner voice of prayer expresses itself naturally in action, just as the inner voice of the brain guides all bodily actions.

2.While we will not all find ourselves in the kind of dramatic circumstances that faced Bonhoeffer in Germany or Tutu in South Africa, we all in our own way will feel the tension between prayer and activism, between action and contemplation.

3.We want a God we can count on yet an attentive God whom we can affect.

4. By using prayer rather than other, more direct means, God once again chooses the most freedom-enhancing style of acting in the world. God waits to be asked, in some inscrutable way making God's activity on earth contingent upon us.

This is enough to keep us talking for a year, why do I think one Sunday is going to do it justice?

6 comments:

preacherman said...

I love the way Yancy makes it so relevent to us. Thank you for sharing this with us all. I have see just how powerful and wonderful prayer can be. Another great book that I have enjoyed is "Too Busy Not Too Pray" by Bill Hybels. I am currently doing a series on Sunday mornings on the prayers of Jesus. It is so great to see his heart, desire, and willingness to teach his disciples how to as well. Again, Arelene you do a wonderful job on this subject.

Frank Bellizzi said...

I agree, Yancy is such a good thinker and writer. Sounds like its going to be a really fine class session.

la_emi1ia said...

An amusing excerpt from the book, "Healing Words" by Dr. Larry Dossey:

In a large hospital, several nurses became interested in learning Therapeutic Touch, a technique developed by nurse-academician Dolores Krieger of NYU. This technique, a variation of the ancient practice of laying-on of hands, has been scientifically studied in several carefully controlled experiments. One weekend these nurses went away to take a course in this technique, which apparently infuriated the director of nursing. When the nurses returned to work on Monday morning, fresh from the course, they were met by a large sign on the bulletin board in the nursing department:

THERE WILL BE NO HEALING
IN THIS HOSPITAL!!

Gena said...

I don't have your email address or else I would email you about a corsage. When do you need it, any specifics, boy or girl? I have some already made. Let me know, call me or email me, lgilbert@nts-online.net
Thanks!

jeleasure said...

Arlene,
Will you elaborate on this for me?
"one of the things that I love about the postmodern water in which we swim is this: the issue of "right" or having every answer is unattractive. The mystery of God is what calls us to Him. Our journey is about discipleship and faith and less about religion or "church" even though community is vital it takes on a different role".
Jim

Brian Bowen said...

I actually liked the postmodern water comment and thats why I came here to read your blog. We dont HAVE to have all the answers to have a real relationship with God. Its when we begin to try to explain all the intricate details of who he is that he begins to become who we want and we then lose the picture of who he is.

Oooh, and I like the thoughts of prayer. Very good actually. So how did the lesson go?