Friday, December 1
There’s a rather long definition of prayer in the book Prayer, a compilation of John Bunyan’s comments on prayer (p. 13). His definition includes the word “sensible,” which has a different sense than it did in his day. As he explains later “sensibility” is an awareness of our sinful state and impending judgment by a holy God. That kind of awareness promotes humility, diminishes arrogance and selfish interests, a better understand of God’s love, and an increase in our desire to serve him. I hope you caught my words “promotes, diminishes, better, increase” The point is that even though I’m redeemed and stand as justified before God, I still have the sin nature to deal with. But Bunyan doesn’t stop there. We also need to be aware of God’s grace. To pray without that truth would make prayer meaningless. His mercy is needed for conversion and it’s also needed to complete the process of making us holy. So I’m not a finished product yet. That will come before I enter the pearly gates. The net result of being aware of our sinful nature and God’s grace is solid grounds for entering into communion with God. And that’s only one word in that rather lengthy definition. The rest of it is worth pursuing, too.