Church of England Diocese of Guildford Dunsfold

A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD

20 Apr 2021, 10:30 a.m.
Church_news Easter

"Pray all the time," says St Paul (1 Thessalonians 5.17). I don't think he means do that activity we call “prayer” all the time. I think he means make your life a prayer. But to do that, we probably need focused moments of prayer. Over time – like a fine wine maturing in the barrel, or an onion being pickled in vinegar – we are slowly changed. We become prayerful.

A love letter from God
The whole Christian story of the birth, life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ could be summed up as a “love letter from God”.
In Jesus, God declares his love for us. What we call prayer, those stumbling, faltering words that we use to speak to God, is simply our response.
In other words, prayer can become like breathing. And it needs to be regular like eating. But it is most like loving. And it is most like loving because it is, at heart, a relationship.
This is the most basic truth about prayer. Prayer is relationship with God; it is the relationship we are made for. Like all relationships it is not easy to describe. I know what it feels like to be in love. But it is hard to define it. Put together all the most beautiful love poems in the world and they are as nothing compared with a few moments of love itself.
Being a Christian is like a love affair. In Jesus we see how God gives himself to us in love. “As the Father has loved me,” says Jesus, “so I have loved you.” (John 15.9)
Prayer is an act of love and a participation in the life of love. In Jesus, God declares his love for us. In prayer we come into communion with God to express our love to him.
So prayer can happen everywhere and anywhere. It’s not just something that happens in a church or other special place. Neither does it depend on special times – although we probably still need those special times to nurture the relationship.