Thursday, 23 June 2011

Thursday Thought #4

Isn't it great when you reach the end of the book and find that there are discussion questions, so that you can make the book last even longer! And then, just when you've started pondering them, you realise that this is something you want to discuss further............... but the right person just isn't there (or maybe they're just too busy). Well, then this is the place for you!

Every Thursday I'll be posting a discussion question, challenge or thought from one of the Christian books that I've read. Then I'll post my personal response.
Then its your turn: consider the question and, if you feel moved to do so, post a comment or a link to the answer in your own blog. You don't have to participate every week, just when you want to.

Today's question comes from 'Secret Believers' by Brother Andrew and Al Janessen.

Are we really convinced that we are engaged in a spiritual war? If so, shouldn't we commit to a life of prayer?

My response:  
If I'm honest, I am extremly uncomfortable with the phrase 'spiritual war'. It conjures up to me (and I suspect to most people) thoughts of suicide bombers, casting out devils and physicaly attacking anyone who doesn't think the same way as you. And yet, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a sign that his message was not a violent one.
So if we don't mean a violent war, what sort of 'spiritual war' can we mean? Brother Andrew quote Ephesians 612:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
So by a 'spiritual war' what is meant is a war against evil. This can, of course, be done peacefully. We must strive to get rid of the evil in our lives and in our world. Protests, petitions and reading the bible are of course very useful in this, but so is prayer.
Prayer should be part of our daily lives. It worries me sometimes that what should be purely a way of talking to God is often taught to children in such a formalic way. During school prayer times (and often in Sunday School as well) children are taught that they must put their hands together and close their eyes before the pray. Yes, this is wonderful for helping them to concentrate and be still to hear God's word, but what about those times when we need to pray but don't have the silence? If everything in our life is dedicated to God through prayer, as I believe it should be, then in a secular society we must be able to pray admist the bustle as well as in the peace. I'm not saying that quiet prayer doesn't have its value, but the best way to do it (in my opinion) is complimented by other types of prayer during the day. This is, surely, committig to a life of prayer.

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