Rediscovering Prayer

by Addison Bevere

April 21, 2024

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere
How to Pray with Confident Humility

It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment . . .

— Philippians 1:9

No matter how much I tried this week, and believe me I did try, I couldn’t get away from 1 Corinthians 13. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great chapter. But it is the love chapter and can feel a bit gushy.

Throughout its thirteen verses, Paul employs some of his most beautiful prose and vivid imagery. (There’s a reason why its words are spoken at weddings and found in greeting cards.)

But there’s a part of 1 Corinthians 13 that goes largely unquoted. It’s the bit in verse 9 about us knowing and prophesying in part. Maybe that’s because we prefer to think of ourselves as people who know and prophesy in full, especially in political or religious matters.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part . . . now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. (1 Corinthians 13:9, 12)

Could it be, though, that the only way to wield truth in love is to accept that we “know in part” (v. 9)? Paul goes on to write that only squabbling children believe they know in full. As adults, we should give up such childish things, maturing in the knowledge that we “see in a mirror dimly” and trusting the Spirit of truth to guide our words and actions.

Response

The love chapter comes on the heels of Paul explaining the different parts of the body, and how it takes a whole body to reveal a whole Christ. We need each other. There is no unity without the dignity of difference. Of course, difference isn’t easy, but as we lean into healthy tension, our prayers become more robust, more tender, more powerful.

Take a quick inventory of your experience with people who “know everything,” the ones who make it their mission to prove how right they are and how wrong everyone else is. They are some of the most unloving and divisive people, right? Have you been that person before? (I know I have.) Whatever sort of person you’ve been this week, I encourage you to take a moment to pray these words with me . . .

Dear God, give us eyes to see each other the way you see us. Spirit of truth, guide us into all Truth, help us rest in the assurance that one day we will know fully as we are fully known. In the meantime, teach us Your ways through Your Word and Spirit . . . may we be souls secure in our partial understanding, knowing that we rest in the arms of Truth. Give us Your boldness and the discernment to speak with Your grace and power. May Your Spirit transform us into the image of Your Son. Amen.

(I use we/us because Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father.”)

Closing Thoughts

I’m not suggesting that truth is subjective, nor should we abandon convictions to make everyone happy and comfortable. That’d be stupid and unloving. But we should be people who pray and speak with confident humility.

We can be confident that Truth belongs to God and is revealed through Scripture. And we should be humble because we are not God and have much to learn under the Spirit’s tutelage.

Growing with you,

Addison

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere

P.S. I want to welcome those of you who’ve recently joined us on this adventure of rediscovering prayer as a way of life. If you don’t have Words with God: Trading Boring, Empty Prayer for Real Connection yet, just click here to grab your book.

Sunday Entries

On most Sundays, I share a short prayer guide, offering words and practices that will help you see, hear, and experience more of God in your daily life. I’d love for you to join us.

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The Entries

When you feel anxious or ill-equipped this week, pull out the paper and pray through these words, receiving them as your own. Take a few deep breaths as you ask the One who searches and knows all things to guide you forward.

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Unforgiveness keeps us from knowing what to pray, and it causes our relationship with God to devolve into bitterness and disappointment. But as we exhale forgiveness, a spaciousness is formed in us, and we find the capacity to move through conflicts and concerns.

Continue Reading →

Take a quick inventory of your experience with people who “know everything,” the ones who make it their mission to prove how right they are and how wrong everyone else is. They are some of the most unloving and divisive people, right? Have you been that person before? (I know I have.)

Continue Reading →

06.11.23

“I’ve been thinking a lot about circles lately. So much of life is defined by circles—our days, week, months, and years form circles for us to move in and through. We’re constantly reminded that the end of a thing has a way of taking us back to a beginning. It would seem the cosmos announces the Circle as God’s shape of choice…”

Addison Bevere is the COO of Messenger International, a ministry founded by John and Lisa Bevere in 1990 that exists to develop uncompromising followers of Christ who transform our world. Messenger is dedicated to providing people with access to life-transforming messages regardless of their location, language, or financial position.

addison-thumbnail-2021
Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

addison-thumbnail-2021
Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

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