Item 1681 - Prayer and the jealous God: Why do we avoid praying?

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1681

Title

Prayer and the jealous God: Why do we avoid praying?

Date(s)

  • June 1985 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

5 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a 4 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Prayer and the Jealous God’, published in The New Oxford Review, Vol. LII, No. 5, June 1985, pp. 7 – 12. Nouwen begins this article about prayer by writing of his own and our, resistance to prayer. He asks ‘Why this attraction and repulsion at the same time? Why do we have so many difficulties in doing what we say we fervently desire?’ He goes on to identify a number of ‘reasons’ we might articulate for not praying. Nouwen then suggests that we have a God who constantly calls to us, constantly desires our attention. ‘I am deeply convinced that the necessity to pray, and to pray unceasingly, is not so much based on our desire for God as on God’s desire for us. It is God’s passionate pursuit of us that calls us to prayer’. Nouwen identifies fear of the implications of prayer as our biggest reason for resistance. Nouwen writes about who he believes God really is for us and who Jesus and the Holy Spirit are and the gift that they are. Nouwen reminds us that we need not be afraid of them. Nouwen concludes ‘So, do not be afraid of the Father who created you in love, nor of the Son who set you free to journey to the Father’s house, nor of the Holy Spirit who already gives you the joy and peace of God’s dwelling place’.

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Duplicate copy available in the file.

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Publication note

Published in New Oxford Review 52, no. 5 (June 1985): 7-10, 12.

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Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 296

Previous Item Number

43-277

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