Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Hardest Task

A friend of mine recently became pastor of a small church. The minister with oversight for the area said the main problem they will have is prayer and I assuming he meant getting people to practise it. The main problem, please note, would not be the difficult member who creates havoc, not the roof which needs mending and not the lack of attendance. This is such an irony. You don't have to pay to pray, you don't have to leave your home and no one knows whether you succeed or fail. Yet, why is it so hard to do?

Perhaps one reason is that you rarely get any praise for praying. I know a little shy Italian lady who prays regularly in my local church. I am not sure if the clergy notice her but I have never heard them mention her. She seems to keep to regular times and draws no attention to herself. No one pats her on the back and says well done. She is never wins 'parishioner of the year' awards. 'But more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of'' the poet Tennyson said. Who knows what is achieved by God with this little lady through prayer. They say English is a language of prepositions and I am careful of using them here. God invites us to join in His work through the medium of prayer. Now, I hope I have got it right. Now why are there so few who accept his invitation?

Spiritual discourse always keeps the soul free from self- esteem, for it gives every part of the soul a sense of light, so that it no longer needs the praise of men. St Diadochos

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