Author James Huntington calls this book The Work of Prayer and then claims, early in its pages, that prayer is neither primarily work nor is it fundamentally our work. Instead, he says, prayer is a gift bestowed upon us not because our piety or sacrifices lead us to deserve it, but simply because we need it.
Prayer a gift? A gift that we need? Yes, says Huntington, for in prayer we don’t move God to come to us; God moves us to come to Him: At the proper time, God sends His Holy Spirit to stir in us the desire for that which He has made ready for us to have or to do.”
This Biblical understanding of prayer upends conventional notions of prayer. It alters fundamentally what you and I should be trying to do when we kneel before God. It makes clear that those of us who yearn to love God should not seek primarily to undertake prayers at set times each day (though that’s good for us). Instead, in praying our goal must be to discern and respond properly to the impulses God plants in our souls.
So rather than praying in order to bend God’s will to ours, we must pray in order to bend our wills to His. Prayer calls us to surrender ourselves wholly to God - not just once, but in every instant and every act.
In these pages, James Huntington develops this Biblical notion of prayer as a gift that God bestows on us rather than an act we perform. He teaches us how we can, at all times, give ourselves to God as prayer demands. And he shows why, once we do so, prayer will cease being for us the hardest work in the world and will become as constant, as natural, and as easy as breathing.
God awakens in us the desire to pray. For that, let us thank Him and praise Him! And let us learn to pray!