So, I think I’m turning the corner. I think I’m finding a reason to pray.
Often what I do is write my way through problems, both spiritual and theological. That’s what I did in my very first book, and about half my books since have been in that same vein.
This book, Why Pray?, however, is the first that is attempting to solve what has become a vexing problem for me both spiritually and theologically. I have been struggling to find a reason to pray. And, thus, have been struggling to pray.
Every time I write about this, several will comment that prayer doesn’t need a reason. In fact, some commenters will imply that questions of this sort are unfaithful. Prayer is meant to be mysterious, they argue, and analysis of prayer ruins it.
I get it. They have a point. But I don’t think that looking for a rationale for prayer is unfaithful. I think it is faithfulness, at least for me. And I think that people like me — people with questions about the efficacy of prayer — deserve answers.
And, at least for me, I think I’m coming closer to an answer that will lead me back into prayer.
PS: You know that famous painting, above? Well, it’s not a painting. It’s a hand-colored photograph. Rhoda Nyberg, of Bovey, Minnesota, who colored her father’s photograph and then watched it become a best seller, died last week. From the article:
The man in “Grace” is Charles Wilden, an elderly peddler from nearby Grand Rapids. His serene face was captured at a studio table with a family Bible, a pair of eyeglasses, a loaf of bread, a knife and a bowl of gruel placed before him, his folded hands on his brow in prayer.