umportal on: Steve Harper’s Talking in the Dark

Well it feels like I’m repeating the methoblogosphere again, but:

Asbury Theological Seminary’s very own Steve Harper has been interviewed by the United Methodist Portal about his book, Talking in the Dark. I haven’t read it yet, but it is next on my list.

Steve was a professor of mine last term and I still run into from week to week and I must say that he has been very helpful to my seminary experience and on “Candidacy Road.”

Here is an excerpt from the interview that I have been thinking about lately as I’ve been teaching our youth about prayer:

You talked about “magical thinking” that sometimes surrounds prayer. What’s wrong with magical thinking?
Magical thinking makes prayer a simplistic formula: If I say the right words, if I say them in the right way and if I say them long enough, I’ll get what I want. We want to say the kind of prayer that obligates God to answer. That’s what magic is. It’s a hocus pocus, presto chango—you make all the right moves and the rabbit comes out of the hat.

But as someone has said, “The purpose of prayer is not to get an answer. The purpose of prayer is to get into a relationship with the God who answers.” And I really think that’s true. Prayer is not just a transaction. Instead, I’m asking, seeking, knocking—trying to get into a relationship.


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