I had mentioned to a friend a few weeks ago that I was running dry on inspiration. She told me to run, not walk, to pick up N. T. Wright’s The Lord and His Prayer. When it was finally available in digital format on Google Books, I did.
It’s spectacular. Wright is refreshingly pastoral, rather than airily instructive. Here’s a clip from the first chapter.
How do you set about praying? From our point of view, there is a fairly obvious order of priorities. We’re usually in some sort of mess, and we want God to get us out of it. Then we’ve usually got some fairly pressing needs, and we want God to supply them. It may strike us at that point that there’s a larger world out there. Again, we probably move from mess to wants: please sort out the Middle East, please feed the hungry, please house the homeless.
But then, once more, it may dawn on us that there’s not just a larger world out there; there’s a larger God out there. He’s not just a celestial cleanerup and sorter-out of our messes and wants. He is God. He is the living God. And he is our Father. If we linger here, we may find our priorities quietly turned inside out. The contents may remain; the order will change. With that change, we move at last from paranoia to prayer; from fuss to faith.