Prayer and Chastisement – H.Hanko

When-You-Pray -HHankoTonight our church discussion group will be treating  three chapters from Prof.H.Hanko’s book When You Pray: Scripture’s Teaching on Prayer (RFPA, 2006). Chapter 11 deals with the subject of “prayer and chastisement”, an important matter to every child of God.

Near the beginning of that chapter Hanko points to “three ways in which chastisement is related to prayer”, the first of which I post here today – for your benefit too. I trust you will see why, as each of us struggles in Christ’s school of prayer, not only to learn how to pray but also to pray, period.

Here are Hanko’s thoughts on one of the reasons for needing chastisement:

First, chastisement may come, and frequently does, because we fail to make prayer the important part of our life that it ought to be. We become very involved in our obligations, our work, and our pursuit of pleasure. We rarely have time to think of God, much less to walk in the consciousness of our dependence on him. Prayer, if we engage in it at all, is sporadic, hurried, stereotyped, and mechanical. God uses chastisement to teach us to return to a life of prayer and fellowship with him.

We are called to walk as pilgrims and strangers in the world. At times we find ourselves altogether too much at home here, so that every thought and desire of heaven fades from our consciousness. This needs correction, and God does what is necessary to correct us. Calvin says in his commentary on the Gospel according to John that God sends us afflictions so that we do not forget that heaven is our home (p.85).

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Mr. Terpstra,

    It was interesting not just to read your blog from a personal perspective, but also because my wife and I were just put on the Discussion Group Committee of Grace Church.
    I’m always looking for ideas, and we haven’t used this book yet.
    Did someone write up questions for discussion? If so, I’d like to be put in contact with the Committee.
    Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Larry Meulenberg


    • Yes, Doug & Pam Dykstra take care of that at Faith. I will put you in touch with them. Thanks for the response!


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