An Invitation to Prayer
By Richard Foster
God has graciously allowed me to catch a glimpse into his heart, and I want to share with you what I have seen.
Today the heart of God is an open wound of love. He aches over our distance and preoccupation. He mourns that we do not draw near to him. He grieves that we have forgotten him. He weeps over our obsession with muchness and manyness. He longs for our presence. And he is inviting you - and me - to come home.
For too long we have been in a far country: a country of noise and hurry and crowds, a country of climb and push and shove, a country of frustration and fear and intimidation. And he welcomes us home: home to serenity and peace and joy, home to friendship and fellowship and openness, home to intimacy and acceptance and affirmation. The key to this home, this heart of God, is prayer.
Perhaps you have never prayed before except in anguish or terror. It may be that the only time the Divine Name has been on your lips has been in angry expletives. Nevermind. I am here to tell you that the Father's heart is open wide - you are welcome to come in.
Perhaps you do not believe in prayer. You may have tried to pray and been profoundly disappointed ... and disillusioned. You seem to have little faith, or none. It does not matter. The Father's heart is open wide - you are welcome to come in.
Perhaps you are bruised and broken by the pressures of life. Others have wronged you and you feel scarred for life. You have old, painful memories that have never been healed. You avoid prayer because you feel too distant, too unworthy, too defiled. Do not despair. The Father's heart is open wide - you are welcome to come in.
Perhaps you have prayed for many years but the words have grown brittle and cold. Little ever happens anymore. God seems remote and inaccessible. Listen to me. The Father's heart is open wide - you are welcome to come in.
Perhaps prayer is the delight of your life. You have lived in the divine milieu for a long time and can attest to its goodness. But you long for more: more power, more love, more of God in your life. Believe me. The Father's heart is open wide - you too are welcome to come higher up and deeper in.
From Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard J. Foster (Harper San Francisco, 1992), pp. 1-4