It was an honor for me to join Andrew Mainprize last night at his course through Ambrose University College in downtown Calgary. Andrew, who encourages me with his many comments on this blog, is a student focusing on theological foundations and spiritual formation. The course I attended last night was about praying along with believers who have gone before us. Dr. Charles NienKirchen began the fall introducing how Jesus’ Jewish world would have been praying followed by a look at the early church fathers. Since then they have moved through church history until last night the study was focused on the prayer tradition of the Reformers. The highlight of the content of the course for me was the scriptural emphasis interpreted within the community of believers. Through sola scriptura, an active prayer life is freed and available for every believer.
Even better than the content, however, was joining the students in their third “prayer practicum” after the class. All of us walked over to the prayer chapel of the old Central Baptist Church building in Calgary and put into practice what we had been learning shortly before. Quietly kneeling and sitting in that little chapel while the C-train and buses rushed by on the other side of the wall was an interesting prayer exercise. Every few minutes people would walk by outside screaming about the @#*!% slurpee machine at 7-11 or yelling about who knows what else. The rhythms of disturbance impressed upon me the need to pray through the unexpected shocks this world throws at us.
I am thankful to Andrew and Dr. NienKirchen for the invitation. May God bless the students as they complete this valuable immersion into prayer.