Prayer is spiritual work; and human nature does not like taxing, spiritual work. Human nature wants to sail to heaven under a favoring breeze, a full, smooth sea. Prayer is humbling work. It abases intellect and pride, crucifies vainglory, and signs our spiritual bankruptcy, and all these are hard for flesh and blood to bear. It is easier…
This semester we'll be dwelling on the theology of prayer, as well as giving ourselves to its practice. But here's the thing. Prayer isn't easy. Rarely is it a glorious and effortless spiritual experience. Here's what E. M. Bounds has to say:
We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self. Indeed, what could be more ludicrous in a vast and glorious universe like this than a human being, on the speck called earth, standing in front of a mirror trying to find significance in his own self-image? It is a great sadness that this is the gospel of the modern world.
—John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ
"You cannot overreact to the importance, the seriousness, and the horror of what goes on when babies are being murdered." —R. C. Sproul Jr.
Maybe you've read or heard this quote, often attributed to C. S. Lewis:
They'll tell you that you can have your religion in private, and then they'll make sure you're never alone.
I spent quite some time poking around looking for a citation for this quote and, alas, I found none. However, I did find what I assume is the source for this ubiquitous quotation, from Lewis's Weight of Glory, in a chapter called "Membership":
When the modern world says to us aloud, "You may be religious when you are alone," it adds under its breath, "and I will see to it that you never are alone." To make Christianity a private affair while banishing all privacy is to relegate it to the rainbow's end or the Greek calends. That is one of the enemy's stratagems.
The more you know…