Ep74-Conspiring Prayer with Mark Karris - Divine Echoes

Divine Echoes: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078WFV3NT/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Conspiring prayer website: conspiringprayer.com/

Marks website: markgregorykarris.com/

Show Notes:


What is Prayer and how is it supposed to work?


What are the limits of prayer on others assuming they have free-will?

Does it even work? How's that working out for you?


Uncontrolling-Love view of providence

Conspiring prayer.

keys example


Bible prayers. Jesus' resurrection and asteroids or the heat death of the universe.
God's constraints due to love. Creation ex nihilo. Natural law theory

Book summary:

In the opening chapter, I will describe my initial journey into the topic of petitionary prayer. I have discovered the hard way that deconstructing a sacred practice as ancient and esteemed as petitionary prayer is no easy task. We will look at the blessings and difficulties surrounding issues of doubt, the questioning of faith, and the fear of rejection.

In chapter two, I will reflect upon the mysterious mechanics of prayer. In other words, my focus is on the question, “How does prayer work?” alongside other vital, challenging questions concerning petitionary prayer offered on behalf of others. These questions will serve as a starting point to expose areas of concern and potential pitfalls that we will discuss in chapter three.

In chapter three, we will examine various theological and philosophical concerns as they relate to petitionary prayer. One concern is that petitionary prayer has the potential to contribute, however unintentionally, to our doubts about the goodness of God. It can also lead us to neglect the reality of human free will. In other words, we can pray without taking into account that the person we are praying for can choose whether to accept or deny God’s grace. We can also pray in a manner that distorts our image of God’s loving character into one that is passive and cruel. Some prayers just make a good God look really bad.

In chapter four, we will briefly examine the science of petitionary prayer to determine its empirical validity and the extent to which it is effective in accomplishing what has been asked of God as some have claimed. To finish up this chapter, we will look at petitionary prayer within the context of experiential concerns, such as present-day evil, suffering, and social injustice. While petitionary prayer can be a loving and compassionate gesture, it can also become an obstacle to what God longs to accomplish in the world.

Chapter five explores petitionary prayer in the Bible. Here, we will use a deconstructive lens to examine verses commonly used to support petitionary prayer. I hope to shake loose some common petitionary prayer texts from their traditional explanations to propel us toward new pathways of theological thought and practice. I will also highlight certain concerns regarding the topic of theodicy and God’s loving character. If our interpretation of a text portrays God in a manner contrary to that which we see in Jesus and to God’s uncontrolling love, perhaps we need to reconsider how we interpret that text.

Chapter six will establish the theological and philosophical underpinnings for reimagining prayer as a more coherent, more effective practice than what is traditionally understood. We will explore God’s character and manner of working in the world, establishing a love-infused theodicy based largely on Oord’s essential kenosis, which prioritizes God’s loving and uncontrolling nature.

Chapter seven continues on this theme by exploring what God’s loving and uncontrolling nature means for how God interacts with human beings. We will ask what it means to be open to God and how and when God responds to our prayers. I will also define some of the limits of our knowledge in this area. We don’t know all that God does, but we can seek integrity in the way we think about him.

In chapter eight, we will begin to construct a vision for a new way of practicing petitionary prayer that is mature and effective. I call this reimagined and subversive practice “conspiring prayer.” This approach to petitionary prayer requires a paradigm shift that seeks to redefine petitionary prayer not as a monologue but as a dialogue. Put differently, petitionary prayer should move from simply praying to God to praying with God in order that shalom is brought forth to the world.

Chapter nine puts conspiring prayer into action. It is not enough to merely discuss theory and theology. An aching world demands sacred practices that have their feet on the ground, no matter how heavenly we deem their origin. We are called to be Divine Echoes—people who intentionally set aside time to prayerfully listen, humbly opening themselves up to receive God’s wavelengths of love and creatively reverberate them out to the world around them. This chapter will explore four case studies that demonstrate conspiring prayer for issues such as racism, accident victims, gun violence, and mental illness.


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