In tonight“s study we finish James 3 with his discussion of the Wisdom from Above and the resulting peace. We then start chapter 4 and begin a discussion of prayer, why our prayers are not always answered, and how we often do not pray or exercise faith in a spiritually mature way. This leads to a further discussion of faith, and trust drawing upon some of the writings of Saint Faustina.
In the first half of our study we compare asking rightly and wrongly in prayer, praying according to God“s will, and how that ties to trust. We discuss «good person syndrome» and examine the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the second half, we examine modes of prayer drawing upon the writings of Teresa of Avila.
In tonight“s study we connect James“ depiction of praying wrongfully with his condemnation of spiritual adultery and then explore the theme of spiritual idolatry in the prophets. We also take time to establish the historical context of the prophets by reading the contemporaneous accounts in First and Second Kings.
We transition from spiritual adultery by humans to God“s fidelity toward us and our trust in that fidelity. We continue to humility in light of that trust, our submission to God and our taking a stand against Satan based upon James 4:5-8 and I Peter 5:6-9
Tonight's study begins with Psalm 4 as a possible response of David to Absalom's rebellion. We branched into how we can and must find joy in our afflictions, digressed into one reason for intercessory prayer including prayer to Saints, and concluded with a discussion of complete trust in and surrender to the will of God.
We then continued on to Psalm 134 by first introducing the Songs of Ascents. We referenced the round the clock praise of God in the temple and its extension into our need and desire as a community to provide for those who today offer their lives in constant prayer and praise. With finished by dwelling on the deep intimacy we can have with God.
We then turned off the cameras and prayed Night Prayer of the vigil of All Saints which uses Pss 4 and 134 as the psalmody.