by Pastor Tim White
Last holiday season I was sitting around with my grown children and they were teasing me about the way I had raised them. I took Elise surfing before she could swim. I was so excited for her to learn and to share this experience with her. Fortunately, we made it through a bunch of close calls without a horrible accident. I taught them to climb mountains, drive cars in snow storms, catch fish, do homework, read defenses in football. And a lot of other useless things that we all now laugh about. But there was one thing that surprised me. They all said they were so glad that I taught them to build a fire when it was almost impossible to start one. My son said, “The first time I went hiking with friends I was shocked that no one else seems to know how to do that.” I laughed, but they were all serious that building and starting a fire in difficult situations was the one useful lesson I had taught them.
Well, starting a fire in a rainstorm, or in a blizzard or without matches, takes a lot of patience. Giving up is not an option. It reminds me of learning how to pray. It is a life-time pursuit. This week I am preaching on how prayer motivates the unmotivated. My text is the “High Priestly Prayer” of Christ in John Chapter 17. It is going to be a great message. I am enjoying it even now as I am studying for it and talking about it with my colleagues.
“Prayer is a conversation within a relationship.”
We are going to learn a lot this week about how to enrich our prayer lives and to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ. If nothing in our series has begun a blazing fire in your prayer life yet … don’t give up. We are going to keep studying God’s Word and lifting our inner spirit to the God of the Universe until that wildfire is roaring with light and heat. This may be the most important thing that you learn under the teaching of Washington Cathedral. I pray that this wildfire of authentic prayer multiplies throughout our church as we look at Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the Gospels.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White