Praying with Your Story

Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. (One of my favorite stories from the Old Testament: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel)

Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. (One of my favorite stories from the Old Testament: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel)

Just as it is important to “begin where you are,” it can also be helpful from time to time to look back over your life and pray with where you have come from. Even if you are just starting to seek a relationship with God, God has been with you up to this point, even though you may not have recognized his presence. To understand God’s invitations, it is helpful to understand how he has been at work in your life so far.

Every day promises a new revelation of God’s love, yet our God of surprises is also consistent in the ways he works with us. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and so he works with us and within us in the ways that help us to grow, to live in always greater love and greater freedom.

In the powerful film, Freedom Writers, a new teacher at a poor inner-city high school tries to create a learning environment for the students whose worlds have been constantly rocked with racial violence. To help the recalcitrant students recognize their common humanity, she creatively has them share their stories by playing a simple “line game:” If something she says is true about them, they step toward the line that runs down the center of the classroom. Gradually, she leads them from the ordinary (who likes a particular song) to the painful: How many have lost a loved one to gang violence. As the students start to share bits of their stories with their teacher and with each other—simply by stepping toward the line—everything begins to change. The classroom is transformed from a tense potential war zone into a place of community, sharing, learning, and friendships.

Imagine how powerful it would be for us to share our stories with God. The next few posts will encourage us to do just that.

Pen_UncappedTo Journal

A) What is one of your favorite stories from the Old Testament? Why is it a favorite?

B) Can you see a connection between your story and the Old Testament story that you chose? How do you identify with the people in the story? What touches you about the action of God in the story?

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