Sister Sue - January 2016

posted 7 Feb 2016, 00:04 by Richard Jones   [ updated 7 Feb 2016, 00:04 ]

Dear Friends, 

            What is prayer? A question that can either be answered very, very simply or requires a large amount of explanation; and both approaches to the answer would be right. For prayer is at one and the same time something very basic but is also the greatest of all mysteries. Bishop Stephen Cottrell describes prayer as: “…think of God as the great Lover who longs to communicate his love to his people.”

            The great poetic meditation on Creation that we know as The Book of Genesis describes God as someone who desires to communicate, to have a relationship, whose great love overflows into the creation of the universe abundant with life, animals, plants, and human beings. And the Christian understanding of God as Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit again draws to our attention the fact that at the very heart of God there is relationship.  As Bishop Stephen continues: “We are the objects of God’s love. We are made in his image and…are able to return the love we receive.”

            Here, in a nutshell is the answer to our question; prayer is a communication, a relationship of love between God and us. “The Lover (God) coming into the presence of the Beloved (you) saying “love you.”

Of course, to have a relationship requires a response from the other person and because God is love then God will never coerce or force a response from us, but will continue to wait for us to freely respond. The response to God’s outpouring love is what we call prayer. At its simplest, prayer is the loving communication between God and ourselves in relationship.

            Why then does it seem so complicated, so difficult, so mysterious? For the same reason that love is so complicated, difficult and mysterious; for love too is mysterious. We know love when we experience it but words fail when we try to describe it.

            “What we call prayer is actually our response to God. In its most raw and basic form, it is the longing of our heart to know God. In response to what we see and experience of God doing for us in Christ – the showing forth of love – we sputter in reply, ‘I love you too.’

 

With prayers and blessings

Sister Sue.

– from the Abundance of the Heart –

Stephen Cotterell, D.L.T. 2006

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