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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Our Faith In Prayer

By Bishop William C Martin and Bishop G Bromley Oxnam
The Advance for Christ and His Church

Christianity is supremely a religion of active relationships, God to man, man to God, man to man. It is defined by a commandment, love. Christianity is a religion of fellowship. 

Part I: Obstacles To Prayer
There are many obstacles to prayer: obstacles in our own environment, theological obstacles, and personal obstacles.

a. Obstacles in the environment
The chief reason that most of us do not pray as we should is simply that we do not take the time.

b. Obstacles in belief
Prayer depends upon belief in a personal God, personal in the double meaning of having the highest qualities of personality, love, mercy, goodness, wisdom, and of having a personal interest in individuals. Can we believe that such a God exists? 

c. Personal obstacles
If you have been unhappy about unanswered prayers, look inward. Perhaps the tragedy you sought to forestall occurred. Perhaps the desired outward event never came true. But in the inner reaches of your life, prayer matters.

Part II: The Meaning And Content Of Prayer
The Lord's prayer is not intended as a complete manual of prayer, but in its sixty-nine words it tells us more about what true prayer is than could many volumes.

2a Confronting the problems
Prayer is primarily a high opportunity instead of a problem. Yet problems do arise in many honest minds, and it may be helpful to look at each of the elements of prayer to see what problems, if any, are present in them.

Part III: Methods Of Prayer
Are there instructions for learning how to pray? Many people would like a book or manual or a course of study which would turn the trick for them. The life of prayer is not so easy as that. The only way to learn to pray is to pray much, and this costs time, patience, dedication of life. Here are some suggestions to help you pray. They are not a book of rules, but they may serve as guideposts to help you past some pitfalls.

3a Devotional reading
There are many helpful aids to private devotions, and we need to choose according to what we personally find most helpful. But among these, there is nothing which takes the place of the Bible.

Part IV: What Prayer Accomplishes
There is little need to say more in defense of the value of prayer. However, in conclusion, certain positive fruits may be reviewed.

Appendix: Scripture Readings

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