Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Week of prayer and quietness… hard work indeed

Various churches of the reformed tradition follow the practice of starting the year with prayer and quiet reflections. This practice emphasise our dependence on God and the fact that our work is in actual fact, God's work. God has been at work before we arrived at the office and will continue even after we leave or 'tjaila'. There is often a tension between understanding the difference, but also the interconnectedness between our efforts and God's work. It displays itself also in the tension between prayer and work.

This year, reformed Christians reflects on the legacy of Jean Calvin, one of its key spiritual ancestors. Hence, it would be wise to heed to his 4 guidelines on prayer.

  1. Prayer starts with a sense of the Awe of God; it is embedded in a deep reverence.
  2. The pray-ers, brings their needs before God. God want to supply all their needs.
  3. Prayer implies laying down our selfish wants and thoughts
  4. Prayer implies a deep faith that God is faithful.

Interestingly, Calvin speaks of prayer as the work of faith.

Sometimes, its difficult to become quiet, especially when the dogs bark, cars screech passed the build where we meet and people walking by enthusiastically share what happened during the day. Maybe, we can also turn Calvin's point on pray on its head: Maybe our work of faith, can also becomes our prayer. This is when our work starts wit a sense of the awesome-ness of God, when we don it do it aware of God supplying our needs ( not our work), when our work serve others, not our selfish need, when work is rooted in our faith in God.

Monday, January 12, 2009

prosperity gospel

I am at an interesting conference on the prosperity gospel. The more I listen to analyses, the more I realise how misguided their social analysis is