This week I took a a little piece of an interview with Richard Foster and Henri Nouwen. The interview was published online in two parts under the title “Deeping our Conversation with God” and is a great read:
On September 21, 1996, Henri Nouwen died of a heart attack in Hilversum, The Netherlands. Nouwen was a Catholic priest and psychologist, best known among Protestant pastors for his book The Wounded Healer. One of Nouwen’s themes was living our brokenness under God’s blessing. In one interview, Nouwen said, “Many people … don’t think they are loved, or held safe, and so when suffering comes they see it as an affirmation of their worthlessness. The great question of ministry and the spiritual life is to learn to live our brokenness under the blessing and not the curse.”
In 1982, Leadership published an interview with Nouwen and Richard Foster on what it takes for church leaders to know God. Founder and chair of Renovaré, Foster has written, among other books, Prayer and Celebration of Discipline.
The following quotes taken fro the interview particularly appealed.
Nouwen: Prayer is first of all listening to God. It’s openness. God is always speaking; he’s always doing something. Prayer is to enter into that activity. … Prayer in its most basic sense is just entering into an attitude of saying, “Lord, what are you saying to me?”
Foster: The problem with describing prayer as speaking to God is that it implies we are still in control. But in listening, we let go. … The spiritual life is not something we add onto an already busy life. What we are talking about is to impregnate and infiltrate and control what we already do with an attitude of service to God.
Personally, I could particularly relate to the following quote:
Foster: … I go out alone … at night. It’s a time to pray. … I invite God to remind me of my day. Are there things that need to be confessed? Was I curt to my secretary? Do I need to set something straight?
In the morning I’ve been experimenting with prayer during that period of just starting to wake up. You aren’t fully conscious, but you aren’t fully asleep; during that in-between period I try to surrender my day to God.
Where Foster speak of shooting hoops (see interview) I could just fiddle away on my guitar or just quietly be out under the stars. It’s great, I can recommend it t anyone, take some time to just not be speaking and just listening.
The picture is taken at the Christchurch Cathedral and is part of my flickr stream