Monday, March 20, 2017

Ponder: prayer as "a natural activity of the soul"

“With the dignity, even austerity of the Prayer Book there goes also a basic simplicity which is not affected by the richness of its language. Its prayers are the expression of a filial relationship between a child and his father—a weak, sinful and erring child, a Father of infinite majesty and power, but still a child and a father.  Their language is the direct address of a person talking with a person.  Because of this view, which has been learned from the Bible, Anglican writers have little to say about complicated techniques of devotion; they are content to accept prayer as a natural activity of the soul, as ordinary in its way as converse between human beings.  There must of course be a keen awareness of the overwhelming greatness of the Being who is approached, and a corresponding sense of the unworthiness of the one who is drawing near.  So vast a difference in the capacities of the two may lead to seeming disappointments, to hesitations and doubts s a man is led through ways which he is incapable of understanding at the time, but love, faith, and perseverance will prove the unfailing goodness of God toward us in the end.”

C. J. Stranks, Anglican Devotion, 276-7

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