About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. A favorite quote for me is on page 14 … “Just slipping quietly into the presence of God can be so exotic and fresh that it delights us enormously.” This resonates in me. It takes the “duty” of prayer away and brings to mind the Rest and Peace that prayer really does bring.

    Back on page 13 Foster states that He (God) delights in our presence. Why is this so hard to truly accept?

    • Theresa,

      Yes…that is g o o d. Have I ever thought of the presence of God as “exotic and fresh”?? You bring up another good point, how difficult it is to believe that God delights in OUR presence. I guess we see our shortcomings, we know our propensity to sin…and we can’t imagine ourselves worthy. BUT…because He sees Christ in us, it’s not about us anyway, is it?

      Thanks for leading off comments, Theresa!

      • Yes, Theresa – constantly reminding myself “life is not about me” and I remind my husband “life is not about him” when I want him to do something for me. lol. Great point about God sees Christ in us. Hit a cord.

  2. My Sunday school class is discussing relationships and how they are the basis to discipleship. We often discuss how the most important relationship is the one with God. And, like all relationships, it takes work. This is why I loved the quote “…this book is about a love relationship: an enduring, continuining, growing love relationship with the great God…” All relationships require communication and prayer is how we communicate with God.

    • LeAnn,

      Isn’t it cool when the same message is affirmed in different places in your life, in different ways? God communicates with us in SO many ways and how gracious for him to provide a means for us respond.

      • LeAnn, great point “like all relationships, it takes work.” Yet in the past I have not always been “willing” to work at it. In my mind it was “too hard.” I made it “too hard.” Love your comments.

  3. “when we pray, genuinely pray, the real condition of our heart is revealed.”

    This quote really resonates with me. A few years ago I remember thinking about my faith & how I wanted to make it even stronger. I clearly remember being still & thinking to myself “we’ll,Lord, here I am, I need a lot of work, please help me to scrape my soul clean”. And I remember feeling so liberated after “talking” to The Lord so simply & honestly.

    Whenever I find myself going off the path, I simply stop & just ask The Lord to redirect me…short, simple, but I find, the very best place to start!

    • Patricia (holla to NYC!!) ~

      Wow…I love how y’all are choosing some of the quotes that really spoke to me (I almost used this one as my favorite). And, the imagery of “scrape my soul clean” is soooo vivid; and kinda scary. Simple prayer is kind of like KISS.

      Keep It Simple………Sistah!!

      • I know, can’t take credit for “scrape my soul clean”… At the time I was going through this, I read it somewhere & I was like, “yes, that is just what I need!” LOL!

    • Patricia,
      It’s so cool to read what you wrote. That quote packs so much meaning. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. Truly, no prayer is ever wasted!

  4. My favorite line is “He invites us into the living room of His heart, where we can put on old slippers and share freely.”

    My whole perception of prayer has been transformed by that one sentence. Instead of thinking that prayer has to be so strict in nature, I now see that to say simple prayers and have a conversation with God is more important. I feel…relieved almost. Like a burden has been lifted because I’ve felt for so long that my prayers are inadequate in nature; it’s okay to ramble on about whatever’s on my heart…He is listening and He is pleased that I want to share with him whatever it is.

    {I just want to thank whomever sponsored a book for me…I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to take part in this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart…may God continue to bless you all.}

    • Angieleigh,

      Have you been reading incourage very long? That line kind of reminds me of our philosophy here, that incourage is a safe, comfortable place where you can take your shoes off and just BE yourself (like at a beach house).

      Your comment just blesses my heart left, right and in and out…THIS is why (I believe) Jess and Ang were led to begin Bloom three years ago! I am so, so thankful you shared how this book/study has revolutionized your prayer life!! How God placed it in your hands as a help!!

      And I wish ALL sponsors could read your note; I’m sure some will and be blessed as a result.

  5. “We will never have pure enough motives, or be good enough, or know enough to pray rightly. We simply must set all these things aside and begin praying.”

    I love the “just pray” message here. We often feel it’s necessary to “get it together” before coming to God in prayer, but He wants us to come as we are, He meets us where we are, and He hears us. What a beautiful thing! I love knowing I can approach God with my mess, throw it before Him, and He’s totally okay with that.

    • Christina,

      You make me think about those who are too shy to pray aloud in a group; we worry about getting it right or not praying well enough, when God just wants us TO PRAY. Just pray…that’s something we need to let settle in our heads…and heart. 🙂

      • so true, to worry about saying the right thing is to make it about yourself, again. But, to learn that you can’t pray ‘wrong’ is refreshing….you just pray and the Spirit will take over..

          • “In the same way that a small child cannot draw a bad picture so a child of God cannot offer a bad prayer.” (R. Foster)

            The reason why I love hearing a child pray. It comes from a place of no inhibitions and brutal honesty. In that sense, I know how our heavenly Father must feel. Those prayers are soo heart-warming!

        • Okay, I fourth this ladies. I pray in a group I’m comfortable in, but in general when they ask “will anyone like to pray” I do the – close my eyes, so no one will make eye contact and give me the head nod for me to pray. I should be eager to talk to God, right? I liked Foster’s account about how we can be paralyzed with thoughts of how we just don’t know to pray. Tori, you’re so right this is refreshing!

  6. I remember struggling with developing a regular prayer life. Actually trying to remember all these big spiritual words to pray with…so silly I see now. I am learning to just be in conversation with Him throughout the day. As I rise, thanks for this new day and to asking for Him to help me go in love this day…not tomorrow when I know I will face something specific…but today, while caring for my children, our home or being there for a friend. And when a need arises or someone or something is placed on my heart that stop and tell God…ask Him to show me what to do where to go. That is often what is true in my heart in that moment.

    Jen

  7. I was so glad in the video when I heard Jessica saying simple prayers will always be part of our life. I felt relief because there is always something I feel I share with God pertaining to me. I like that I can give Him that and He helps me through the daily grind.
    I am really loving this book and I just may have to buy me a copy rather than borrowing it from the library.
    Have a beautiful day!

  8. My tip for hosting – keep it simple! Just put on some hot water for tea and maybe some coffee and a little something or two that you can pick up at the store or bakery – some muffins and cupcakes for instance!! Make it look pretty with some little finds from around the house, silk flowers, chochtkees, seashells, whatever, add some pretty cloth or paper napkins and that’s all folks!!
    Pure fun! Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. I was touched by the prayer at the end of Chapter 1, “Dear Jesus, how desperately I need to learn to pray. And yet when I am honest, I know that I often do not even want to pray. I am distracted.” This is me. I start praying everyday and get easily distracted. Thus the real condition of my heart being exposed – business. However, something shifted in me two days ago when I picked up this book to read. My spirit was quieted.

    Simple prayer – come as you are. (i.e. frustrated, happy, sad, mourning) Lay before him what is inside of you. The details of our lives are proper content of our prayers. Very liberating. I am extremely encouraged by the first 15 pages of this book. Our adventure has begun.

    I printed out the discussion above but now realize I should wait until late Tuesday so I can have all the comments to place in a binder. Privilege to be a part of this study.

    • You’re precious, Marilyn. I can tell your heart is tendered toward change. God is about to do an AMAZING work in you and I can sense that! Talk about adventure! 🙂

      (And just wait until Friday…I think you and I are a case of “great minds”…. 😉

      • Marilyn, everyone gets distracted, so don’t beat up on yourself. I’ll be very focused (I think), and the next thing I know, I’m thinking about a spinach casserole to make for dinner or some other totally random thought! I used to get very frustrated with myself, but I finally realized that it’s just our human nature. Simply take a deep breath and pull your attention back to your prayer. Relax. He loves you just as you are!

        • Marilyn,
          I think we all breathed a little sigh of relief. I felt peace too. I think expectation can make us a little anxious if we don’t check it. However, learning to be in the moment with God… at all moments, is a beautiful and freeing thing.

  10. This first chapter really hit hone for me! I still have not organized all my thoughts from this chapter! I will post more on my thoughts tomorrow!

    I do have to say That the prayer at the end of chapter one really hit home for me. That is exactly how I feel! I cannot wait to continue this study and dig deeper!

    Blessings ladies!

    Kristen barkdull

  11. I loved the quote, “Slowly, almost imperceptibly, there is a shift in our center of gravity. We pass from thinking of God as part of our life to the realization that we are part of his life.”

    I also liked this chapter, because I think I often come to God in very simple ways. Silly things, like growing up, my grandmother always told me to pray when I brushed my teeth. I still, to this very day, pray while brushing. In this chapter I laughed about that, and yet also realized that while it has always seemed a little silly, it is just me, being myself with my holy father. It reminds me of my children. I don’t want them to come to me, trying to be perfect. I want to treasure their souls, the very creation that is them. Just as they are one of a kind, so our Heavenly Father sees us much the same.

    • I loved this one too… It reminded me of a song I love by Jason Mraz – God Rests in Reason. One of my favorite lines from the song is “believe not God is in your heart, child, but rather you’re in the heart of God.” This is an idea I find myself wanting to remember often, and often, forgetting. And yet, when I do remember, I thank God for the grace to do so.

      • I totally didn’t believe that Jason Mraz sung a song with that deep a message. Looked it up on youtube and was pleasantly surprised. I don’t think I would have ever encountered it otherwise, so thank you for sharing.

    • Kimberly,

      Yep…nodding…this was one of my favorites, too :). (See? It’s SO hard to choose!)

      What a precious legacy from your grandmother! She was teaching you from the youngest age how to “prayw without ceasing.” What a gift.

  12. This is my first on-line study. I so enjoyed the video! I love the input of these women.
    I like the way Foster lays out the prayer movement: Inward – I think of the center of the cross, upward – I think of the vertical cross and outward – I think of the horizontal cross. When we pray all can come together and form one beautiful moment of love with our Savior —— so amazing is our God!
    Favorite quote: “Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love”
    I think, as usual, we make it so complicated…..but He makes it so easy – it’s as easy as falling in love:)

    • Tori–and ANOTHER of my favorites! I love how so many readers are extracting the things that resonated with ME.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the cross and Inward/Upward movements; it adds an additional consideration to his structure. I bet Foster would like that comparison.

  13. I love how Foster says on page 1 that God is inviting us into the “kitchen of His friendship.” The kitchen is so the center of everything in a bustling, busy house. This reminds me that prayer is to be at the center of my life — it’s a source of nourishment and should be my “happy spot.”

    I have been so blessed by everyone’s comments. Its’ great to see how everyone is picking up little nuggets of truth from the chapter and hiding it in their heart for safe keeping.

    • Lyli,
      Great thoughts on the kitchen as a center of nourishment and what is “happening.” I loved this whole description of a home. Each room an experience in our walk with God. This was one of my favorite parts. Especially when Foster first explained the pain the Father feels from seeing us so far removed and then Foster simply says the Father wants us “to come home.”

    • Lyli,

      …AND sharing it with our body of readers. Doesn’t it make you appreciate this book *again* to see such strong quotes being shared? I had no idea when I asked that of readers how muh I’d enjoy it :).

      (Love your takeaway about the kitchen as the center of life in a family; it definitely is for us, so that point made a lot of sense.)

  14. One of my favorite quotes from chapter 1 is found at the bottom of p. 11:
    “And if we can just come to see that right where we are is holy ground–in our jobs and homes, with our co-workers and friends and families.”
    Too many times we have that attitude of not being good enough. It is very important–and difficult–to learn to live in “the now”! It is precious and truly holy, a gift from our Saviour.

    • I loved this too! I have some false notion that I have to be away from everything before I can really pray. Realizing I am always on holy ground is also humbling.

      • Vivi and Cassie,

        Maybe one of the great works of this book will be our collective, respective change in perspective; how we see ourselves in relation to God, how accessible he is (and for us to realize that). Thank you for sharing your thoughts here :).

    • Ohh yes! This quote really got my attention, especially with the things that God has allowed to take place on my job. Within the past 3 weeks I have shed my share of quiet tears of both frustration and exhaustion during after-work hours in the middle of my classroom. Mmm yes…this is the “holy ground” where the Master Teacher is teaching me how to tarry and pray. Praising God for not only being my Emmanuel but my Ebenezer, too.

      Peace & Blessings

  15. I loved the illustration at the end of the preface of the little boy struggling with behavior and the father picks him up and sings him into calm with his love song. After years of a back & forth struggle with God, I still find myself resisting His embrace so often….oh, but when He grabs hold of me and sings to me I am full of peace again! I have clear reference points of these times in my life. Why then, do I avoid His embrace & insist on having things my own way? I see this struggle in my own parent child relationship now as a mother of pre-schoolers and it truly baffles me. My relationship with my children is such a tangible reminder of my relationship with my heavenly father. I’m so excited to see where this fresh journey of prayer may lead in this, my own parent-child relationship with God, and I’m hoping i become more comfortable and willing to crawl up onto His lap and let Him sing His songs of love to me.

    • One of my pet peeves as a young mother (a long time ago) was to be holding a child’s hand and have him try to pull away. It was all about who was going to be in control, when often I was just trying to protect them or guide them. I wonder how often I have resisted the gentle tug of God’s hand, thinking I wanted to “be in charge”, when all He was doing was protecting me or guiding me. I’m glad He did not give up on me and just let me have my own way! What a good Father He is! As a grandmother, I hope I handle those little “tug of wars” better but I still refuse to let go of that little hand.

      • Thanks for the encouragement Susan, both in terms of being a mom, and being in relationship with God. i love how you put it: “the Gentle tug of God’s hand…” such a beautiful picture to me. Thank you.

      • Laura,
        I think we can all attest to how much our role as parent has taught us of our relationship to God. I see it EVERY day and still I forget, just like you said. When I read your comment I started thinking how my son loves for me to lay down with him “a little bit” at night after we pray together and so on. Most nights I’m able to do it, and while I lay there I think about what this means to him but also what it means to me. How hurt I would be if he rejected my affection or suddenly didn’t need “our” time any more. In the same way God longs for me, and not only that but he knows how much I NEED to be in Him… but, like my son, I need to come to my Father and say can you stay with me for a few more minutes, pleaseeeee?

    • Laura,

      Word pictures are helpful; it gives us something concrete to hold onto an abstract. I’ll look forward to your thoughts as we continue; if the Lord is speaking to you and challenging you through this study :).

  16. So many good quotes from this first chapter…. I have to leave two that were very close to each other: ‘ we should feel perfectly free to complain to God, to argue with God or to yell at God’ and CS Lewis’ quote ” lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us’. It makes prayer seem like a real conversation and relationship builder with a friend.

    • This too was my quote. It directly speaks to my perceived inadequacies and resulting paralysis. I am not praying as I ought to pray is exactly what is going through my head when I pray, which then begins to derail my thoughts, and then too shortly thereafter I am completely distracted and feel the need to start all over again…but don’t. This Lewis quote needs to be my banner.

    • Melissa,

      The quote makes me think of my relationship with my own kids–we’ve always encouraged them to complain to us, argue with us, yell at us…as long as they do so respectfully. It’s beautiful to see that in light of my relationship with Christ.

  17. It was so delightful to me to receive the sponsored book. I read “Celebration of Discipline” in Portuguese when I lived in Brazil. I felt so honored in having Prayers in my hands. I agree with him that we must pray even when dwelling in evil. For me, it was my way out of suicidal feelings and on the dwelling with the evil thoughts that hope for me was over . At that time, Celebration of Discipline provided me the tools to continue reading the Bible, fasting and praying till I was freed.

    • Marinalva,
      Amen! We must pray in the good and the bad. In spite of our sin, through it not around it, until God gives the victory He has already bought for us! In the Coming Home section there is a quote by St. Augustine, “True, whole prayer is nothing but love,” and we know that love covers a multitude of sins. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Marinalva,

      Foster “giving permission” for me to pray even in the midst of my own junk? A liberating thought, indeed. Thanks for revisiting that here….

  18. I am always trying to get to the end results without the hard work in between, so these chapters gave me permission, in a sense, to be ok with the current process. I keep thinking I should’ve on some holy plane since I have been a believer for so long, but I realize I cannot skip those first steps and jump straight to the end, and I don’t want to! I am excited about doing simple prayer again! It is OK! Roseanne is hilarious! I am enjoying her already . . .

    • Cassie,

      I just used the phrase “giving permission” in my previous comment…jinx! 🙂 It IS freeing for someone else to affirm what we struggle with, isn’t it? And RoseAnne IS fantastic! I enjoyed her throughout filming and can’t wait to “see” her again in these videos!

  19. I love the part on the bottom of page 13 onto 14 where it talks about “spiritual greed.” I know at times I have begged Him to show me He was there, to show me His power. He showed me but a glimpse of how he can interact with me and I completely freaked out!! It was like God was telling me , “you cant handle this.” ” I must have rest; I have no strength…” (pg 14) I think God only reveals to us as much as we can handle of Him, at least I hope thats all He’ll allow us because if I get more than that I might just pass out.

    I also liked in the video when you ladies talked about prayer as a means of relationship and falling more in love with God.

    Thank you for this book study!

    • Oh Sarah, I had such a similar experience. I had been praying to just be in His presence and He gave me such the smallest glimpse and all I could do was cry out “too much Lord”. It was so overwhelming and I hear the echo of it in your comments. And yet, isn’t it so amazing?! We just have a hair-width size of understanding of who He is and that is enough to carry us through.

      • Me again. I had to go back and look up this quote from the book.

        pg 6 “The movement inward comes first because without interior transformation the movement up into God’s glory would overwhelm us and the movement out into ministry would destroy us.”

        Although not my ultimate takeaway quote from this chapter I absolutely love its truth and the foundation it lays for the many reasons why I need prayer. We would be completely consumed if not for His grace to change us through prayer.

  20. When you host any event, remember that the important thing is the people. It is not how clean your house is, or how nice the food is. Be relaxed so that you can be available to the people. Take it from someone who did it the wrong way most of her life.

  21. “To believe that God can reach us in the ordinary junctures of daily life is the stuff of prayer {…} the only place God can bless us is right where we are, because that is the only place we are! pg 11

    I completely identify with the words in this paragraph. God can’t bless me here in this mess but he will when….and fill in blank with whatever the circumstance may be for the day, week, month, or year. I tend to do that often-attempting to fit God into my tiny box rather than putting myself into his glourious grasp. The odrinary everyday struggles are what he wants to hear from me- simple prayer. For some reason, I was taught that my prayers needed to be heavier than that, more holy, less about me and more about others and Him. This chapter showed me there is another way. And I am relieved.

    • Julie,
      I also think God just wants genuineness. I think sometimes I get blocked by years of hearing that we should pray the scriptures and pray as those in the scriptures pray, and I see the value of that because the word of God is life. “It is useful in teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness..” but I also know God wants me, the real me, talking to him. I started thinking how I would react if my son came up to me and talked in scientific terms and terminology he’s learned in school all the time. I would be like “what is going on, just talk to me!” The stuff he learns is important and useful, the fact that I want simple conversation with him doesn’t diminish its value. However, God wants us to come as we are. He knows what’s real, what’s practiced, what’s engraved in our hearts versus what’s crowded in our minds. Our life is all holy ground for conversation with Him!

    • Julie,

      Foster has 21 chapters on prayer, different types/ways to pray; and they aren’t all inclusive (and in some chapters, it could be broken down further into MORE categories). We’ll soon learn (or already have) that there are plenty of ways to pray regardless of our junk. Thank God for that!!

  22. Let me start off by just mentioning that getting into this very first chapter has revealed 13 misconceptions about my prayer life and how I viewed it. THIRTEEN!! Right to the heart of me did this strike AND shatter my “model for prayer”.

    This is so God because I have been having a hard time with the concept and act of “prayer” for a couple years. I’m a prayer partner in my church and I am sometimes invited to pray before Sunday service with the weeks prayer team.

    Only recently (around Thanksgiving last year) was I noticing how difficult I was making prayer out to be. I knew why too, but I couldn’t seem to get past my reason.

    This book is definitely timely because it seemed as though EVERYTHING was halted due to my lack of praying. And just yesterday had it truly been the very first time since the holidays that I prayed OPENLY to the Lord with a hurting, angry, resentful, frustrated and confused heart. And look, turns out this is the stuff “simple prayer” is made of!!!

    To me, this is profound revelation and with a slap-in-the-face-with-a-wet-hand kind of teaching. I can already tell this study is gonna be extra good 🙂

    I have come up with 14 favorite quotes, but you asked for one. It’s: “God is perfectly capable of handling our anger and frustrations and dissapointment.”

    • Deb,

      Wow. W o w. What a testimony; thank you for taking time to share it. It sounds like God is doing an amazing fresh work in your life, and I cannot wait to hear more about your journey. I can sense you’re really engaging with Foster’s book; interestingly, this was a difficult, challenging read for me overall (in a good way).

      Your quote wasn’t a favorite of mine, but it was one that I Amened :). I’m glad he came out and said that because I KNOW a lot of people need to hear it!!

      • Robin you are not lying! This is definitely a fresh season for me. PLUS, it was yesterday BEFORE i got into the book that i finally forgave my sister (where the anger started) , and then I have an amazing time reading about prayer 🙂

        My quote meant that I had to bring all that ugliness to God, meaning He was able to fix me – and I wanted to stay angry because I wanted retribution. What a circus! lol.

  23. Simple Prayer is, well, soooo simple! I love how Foster just puts it so easily and basic. No “methods” or “special words” just our every day concerns coming from every day people. He has really opened up my heart to get back to simple prayers and to stop making it so difficult and hard on myself.

    • Teresa,

      The ensuing chapters might not be so easy…but they’re good. And worthy of consideration and conversation. I’ll be curious to hear what you think.

  24. I was convicted right from the get go in the Coming Home section. Foster’s description of what the Father longs for and how far we’ve gone away from where He wants us was a reminder of where I am and where I ought to be. When Foster described this “home” where we go into the depths of God in different areas, I found myself saying “I want to live there!” (… and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever). I love the illustration that prayer is the key and Jesus is the door to this home. A home where intimacy happens.

    I know many have said this, but the main thing I loved about this first section on simple prayer is how freeing and useful it is to me! Yes, this in itself is self-focused but I appreciate knowing simple prayer is a step in growing in prayer. “The only way we move beyond self-centered prayer, if indeed we ever do, is by going through it not by making a detour around it” – I love this! It is also encouraging to know I’ve already been in prayer more than I realized! If my life IS holy ground, like Foster says, then each time I have addressed my Father and I have (even in passing) said something to Him, I have been practicing simple prayer. What do I mean I don’t know where to start? I have started! This was super encouraging.

    Finally, the words of council where good pointers to look out for during this process. My favorites were to pace myself and to pray in the presence of evil. Great council, really, in all areas of our Christian walk. I’ll never be open or clean enough to pray, but thankfully this is exactly where God wants me to meet Him.

    My favorite quote is in the Part I introduction. Foster says, “to pray is to change.” I often ask God exactly what this “being transformed by the renewing of your mind” looks like. I think for the first time I see prayer as the vehicle of this renewal. A longstanding question answered in this simple phrase.

    • Paula,

      First, thank you for engaging so many of our commenters :). I love how we’re already off to a chatty start :).

      Second, I love seeing how you’re processing this, absorbing the chapter; your heart sounds like fertile ground for growth, which is exciting.

      “What do I mean I don’t know where to start? I have started!” Yes ma’am!

      And you, like so many, chose a quote that rattled around my head. I want to change, and as hard as that is…it really isn’t. But it is. lol…a paradox :).

      • A personally inspiring quote by C.S. Lewis: “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”

  25. The timing of this study has been great for me, because I have been going through a period of discouragement, and needed the reminder to turn to call on my Father, who loves me and wants to take care of me. We are reminded in the Bible, to be humble, like a child (Matthew 18:4). So, remembering my relationship as a child of God, and thinking of how my own children talk to me when they have needs, fears, concerns, joys, things they’re excited and enthusiastic about, all of this helps me think how to talk with my Father in Heaven when in simple prayer.

  26. My favorite quote is “God listens in compassion and love, just like we do when our children come to us.” I need to remember that no matter how silly I may think I sound, that God loves me just as I love my children.

    I have been struggling with prayer because for so long I’ve felt like I’m not good enough to pray, and why would God want to even listen to me? I can not wait to get through more of this book.

    • Amanda,

      I think you’ve articulated one of satan’s happiest victories–to defeat us before we begin. I’m praying THAT is obliterated for us during this study! Which he will absolutely hate :).

  27. I loved and was so thankful for this chapter on simple prayer. Truly it is a sigh of relief, as I often feel like I’m just throwing prayers up to God throughout the day, and feel guilty that I’m not coming to Him more formally, or with some type of formulaic approach. I know that I need to take more time and focus and pray in such a way that honors a holy and righteous God.. but I love that He welcomes me just as I am and crying out to Him with my needs throughout the day. I thought it was so true that we often stay away from prayer because we don’t feel like we are “doing it correctly” or approaching it reverently enough. And I so appreciated Foster’s emphasis that we will never outgrow simple prayer. We will expand and learn and grow in our prayer lives.. but we never leave simple prayer behind. So many good quotes in cpt one but these two stick out most:

    “When praying, we come ‘underneath,’ where we calmly and deliberately surrender control and become incompetent.” (p.7-8)

    “C.S.Lewis counsels us to ‘lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.'” (p.12)

    Super stoked to dig deeper and learn more about prayer!

    • Love that CS Lewis quote! I am so often so full of my self-constructed “oughts” that I hinder myself from coming to God, as if He wouldn’t accept me until I’ve achieved all my own plans and jumped through my own hoops… I’m so grateful he can see straight through the rubbish I clothe myself with, straight into my heart. So honest prayer with all the knobbly-bits on is not inadequate, but real!!

  28. Honestly, I stink at prayer. I do it when I feel like it which isn’t nearly as often as I’d like it to be. That and I can’t stay focused, I have so much else going on that I’ve let it take precedence and that bothers me. I’m working to change that, which is why I’m excited to be a part of this study. I always feel so bad when I do pray because it does tend to be about me. Coupled with the fact that I don’t do it often, it’s kind of like, “Excuse me, who do I think I am to like, never pray, and when I do it’s all about me?”. It was nice to read that that’s what simple prayer kind of is. It’s where you’re at right at that moment. It still bugs me that that’s all I really do though.

    I’m going to start writing prayers in a journal though because I think that would help keep my focus. I don’t know. (I’m not terribly focused writing a comment either, apparently, LOL!)

    I think my favorite quote is where he says “. . . the only place God can bless us is right where we are, because that is the only place we are!”. It’s the realization that God isn’t going to wait until we’re higher on the ladder, so to speak, than we are. If we’re coming to Him in prayer, He’s going to work on us and that’s really the blessing right there.

    • I like your last paragraph. We feel so unworthy and God just shakes his head at us. The Enemy wants us to avoid prayer so we can not have intimacy with God.

  29. OH my goodness. I love Roseanne. She is cool. I just discovered this site this week. I immediately bought the book this week too. It came in a few days. I have the book and will print the notes you shared and read and take note on my own. I wished I had started this with you all.

    I have notes and books and whatnot where I started studying prayer then stopped. I am glad I found this site and the book. I plan to read the book and go back to my study of prayer. I also will be reading your blog regularly.