Journey Through the School of Groaning: A Prayer Devotional by Richard Jones
WARNING! This is a propaganda book. I realize the word propaganda is not a word that is politically correct today. But in its original usage, it was a word coined by Pope Urban VIII. He formed the College of Propaganda in the 17th century in order to spread the Christian faith. In this sense, I AM striving for propaganda. Much of what I write in this book is meant to cause you to embrace prayer as a friend as well as a vital tool of your faith. Prayer is not boring; it is an adventure.
I begin with the confession that there is probably nothing else in my spiritual life or disciplines I have struggled with more than prayer. I have read thousands of books on the subject (yes, an exaggeration), and I have been reluctant to add yet another literary work to the chaos of differing opinions, theological studies, and sure-fire methodologies that will guarantee a successful prayer life. Right! And yet, as I pondered the direction of this volume, it dawned on me that my personal journey has had little to do with theology or methodology. It hasn't even had much to do with verbiage. But it had and has everything to do with my honestly and openness before God and with what's happening in my heart at the time I'm praying. And it has everything to do with the words of Jesus--"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Our Lord wants us to pray. Always and about everything. During times of joy as well as sorrow. He wants us to talk to Him...not about Him. I've asked myself the question often lately--"Do I pray out of thoughtfulness or habit? What can I do to get my heart involved as well as my mouth?" I continue to struggle. May these writings help you in your struggle. May you enjoy your journey through the school of groaning in the days and months to come. God bless you.