pastoral/spiritual care

The Struggle of Prayer

Some thoughts on prayer, from the book The Struggle of Prayer by Donald G. Bloesch

“The God of the Bible is a living God, not a philosophical first principle or a moral ideal.  As the psalmist expresses it, ‘He who planted the ear, does he not hear?  He who formed the eye, does he not see?’ (Ps. 94:9).  He is not divinity in the abstract, but a divine person.  He is supremely personal, yet he infinitely transcends human personhood.  He is a personal-infinite God (Francis Schaeffer), who is at the same time all-powerful and all-loving.  He is a gregarious God, seeking to include man in fellowship with himself.  Such a God can be approached in prayer because he not only can hear but also has the power to act on the requests of his children.

The biblical picture of God as ‘heavenly Father’ reinforces the idea that he is loving and caring.  We do not ask as beggars but as sons and daughters, since he is the Father of all by creation . . .  God is also likened to a divine Mother who seeks to gather her children together as a hen would gather her brood under her wings (Matt. 23:37).”

God, thank you for allowing us to come to you as children, trusting that you, our divine Parent, are moved by our prayers.  We do not always understand prayer, how it works or sometimes seems not to work, but your desire to hear from us tells us of your personal and particular love for each one of us.  God, make room for us under your loving wings, and teach us to pray.  Amen.

-- Chaplain Stacy N. Sergent


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