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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rainy Days

I'm still up in Seattle through Friday. Yes, most days it has rained. Last night I finished up a youth ministry consulting project that was yet another great time of learning and listening.

Today through Friday I am meeting with various people about Eden Reforestation Projects, speaking for fifteen minutes on Thursday with a couple hundred pastors and church leaders about ways for them to partner with us. Tomorrow I am going to meet with a camp to see if we can dream up some ways to creatively work together as well -- that as people get away in the forest above Seattle, that they would also consider rebuilding a forest for the poorest of the poor in Africa.

Today during a walk along the water in a park in SW Seattle (no rain today!), I found myself still reflecting on this paragraph from a collection of letters of C.S. Lewis that I read last week holed up in the cabin during my vacation -- I took the photo of the lake one of the days we were there, from the back porch:
I am certainly unfit to advise anyone else on the devotional life. My own rules are (1) To make sure that, wherever else they might be placed, the main prayers should not be put 'last thing at night.' (2) To avoid introspection in prayers - I mean, not to watch one's own mind to see if it is in the right frame, but always try to turn the attention outwards to God. (3) Never, never to try to generate an emotion by will power. (4) To pray without words when I am able, but to fall back on words when tired or otherwise below par.
Each one stuck in my mind for different reasons. Which one stands out to you?


  1. #3 intrigues me-what exactly does he mean? and #4 I love-I think it makes the idea of praying w/o ceasing a tangible reality

  2. #3 - not sure what it means either -- maybe "I want to stop being mad at so and so or I need to like doing this project or that" and somehow just will myself into feeling those things. Rather than pursue Christ daily and be confident that his Spirit is transforming us step by tiny step.

    #4 - Ruth pointed out to me that she thinks "pray without words" means to listen more than speak. Which takes discipline, eh?

  3. I love #2. Its "so not about us" on many levels. I am guilty of wanting my prayers to sound "right" to others, (and to myself, to God... ) and less time praying with others, might, in essence, create for me, a closer, more honest, less introspective prayer life.