by Philip Yancey
Study with Anne Griffith, Founder, The Enlighten Foundation

Chapter 6: Why Pray?

Page 73: “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

We often pray under duress. Sometimes our prayers are answered and sometimes they’re not.

1. Have you had scenarios where you prayed and were answered much later? Or were they answered in a completely different way?

2. On Page 78, Philip states, ”Jesus knew the sensation of getting no answer to his pleas.” When you don’t get an answer from God are you able to see and answer from an overall perspective?

Page 79: “[Let’s start] with three large assumptions: (1) God exists; (2) God is capable of hearing our prayers, and (3) God cares about our prayers.”

Page 80: “To discount prayer, to conclude that it does not matter, means to view Jesus as deluded.”

Prayer, then, is linked to Jesus. Jesus taught us that we were created by God, that as our creator, God wanted to communicate with us. As the created, we can go directly to God. If prayer is eliminated from our lives, rejected by us as unnecessary, we are rejecting God.

1. Does prayer seem more serious when looked at from that perspective?

Page 87: Philip relates Haddon Robinson’s words concerning Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and his reaction to the horror he was about to endure. He talks about how “broken up” Jesus was, “and all he is doing is praying…what will he do when he faces a real crisis? Why can’t he approach this ordeal with the calm confidence of his three sleeping friends?” Yet, when the test came, Jesus walked with courage, and his three friends fell apart and fell away.

1. Do you see prayer giving you courage? The ability to keep going/moving forward?

Page 88: “Jesus knew the cost of divine restraint, the deeply personal cost of letting the world have its way with him. He understood that redemption comes from passing through the pain, not avoiding it: for the joy set before him [he] endured the cross.

1. In a world bent on minimizing and marginalizing followers of Christ, explain why prayer can provide the tranquility and peace we strive for as we face each day with challenges and strife.

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