Anna Madsen a freelance theologian and proud mama to daughter, Else, and son, Karl. She works with OMG: Center for Theological Conversation (omgcenter.com) and enjoys seeing the occasional moose and bear in their woods.
Session one: the paradoxes of prayer (1 Samuel 12:16-23)
Called to pray, but for what purpose? Can we persuade God with prayer? Do we actually encounter God in prayer? Is the practice of prayer intended for the sake of the one praying or for the One to whom we pray? The Bible references all of these scenarios; however, each comes with biblical, theological and practical questions. In this first session on prayer, we’ll investigate the paradoxical truths of this spiritual practice.
Jesus taught us how to pray by way of the Lord’s Prayer. But both in Scripture and in the Christian tradition, people of faith have developed a wide variety of ways to come before God. In this session, we’ll look at different ways to pray, what each might offer and how knowing an array of prayer styles can enrich our devotional life.
It is indeed true that many results of prayer are intangible—and even impossible—to discern. But it is also true that prayer can demonstrably change the brain, reduce stress levels and, some studies say, appear to correlate to otherwise inexplicable healing in those for whom people have prayed. In the final session of this series, we will investigate the effects of prayer personally, communally and on the mission of the church.
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