Thursday, August 04, 2016

A Letter to My Spiritual Formation Students

Dear Payne Seminary Spiritual Formation Students:

I am so thankful you are in my class. Here are some things I want to share with you as we are nearing the end of our first week of praying.

I am praying that you would pray. I am praying for the desire for relationship with God to deepen in you.

Remember that praying is not something you have to do. Praying is not a duty. You don't have to pray. But if you desire to, you will.

I shared this example in class. Imagine I told Linda that the reason I talked with her and listened to her was because it was my duty as a husband to do so. I am certain this would discourage her. She would wonder if I loved her.

Where there is love, there is time. When prayer is merely something I have to do then we have the problem of finding time to pray. The one who says "I just can't find time to talk and listen to God" is the one who does not love and desire God. This is because love and desire always lead to discipline. That is, desire always leads to action. Real faith is deed-producing.

A praying person prays because they have a heart for the relationship, just as a guitar-shaped heart inexorably practices.

I am praying that God-desire will capture your heart. When this happens, you will not be stopped.