RICHARD FOSTER: NUDGINGS OF THE SPIRIT
“‘Prayer changes things,’ people say. It also changes us. The latter goal is the more imperative. The primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that, by the power of the Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son… None of us will keep up a life of prayer unless we are prepared to change. We will either give it up or turn it into a little system that maintains the form of godliness but denies the power of it–which is the same thing as giving it up.
“When we begin to walk with God, He graciously and marvelously answers our feeble, egocentric prayers. We think, ‘This is wonderful. God is real after all!’ In time, however, when we try to push this button again, God says to us, ‘I would like to be more than your Provider. I also want to be your Teacher and your Friend. Let me lead you to a more excellent way. I want to free you of the greed and avarice, the fear of hostility that make your life one great sorrow…’ Each day in a new and living way the brooding Spirit of God teaches us. As we begin to follow these nudgings of the Spirit, we are changed from the inside out.”
What will prayer look like in our lives after Lent? God wants it to be more than just going to Him with what we think we need. Only as we follow the “nudgings of the Spirit” do we find the Spirit wants to work in us to produce fruit (see Galatians 5:22-23).
Father in Heaven, have Your way in each of us. As our Provider, transform our greed into generosity. As our Teacher, show us the more excellent way and help us walk in it. And as our Friend, move us from fear to faith by your Holy Spirit. Do all this we ask in the name of our Savior Jesus. Amen.
Gary G. Hoag
To read more from Lent Companion by Gary G. Hoag, please visit https://www.gtp.org/resources/ebooks/lent-companion