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John Webster Prayer

Freedom and Prayer

I’m just parking this Webster quotation here; no further comment is necessary.

Evangelical freedom, emerging from our being put to death and made alive in Christ and the Spirit, is thus freedom from the care of self which so harasses and afflicts the lost creatures of God. My freedom is in part my freedom from final responsibility for maintaining myself, a freedom which is the fruit of my having been liberated from the anxious toil of having to be my own creator and preserver…

A particular mode of this freedom is the freedom to pray. Prayer is an act of evangelical freedom because in it is expressed our liberation from anxiety and self-responsibility, and our freedom to live on the basis of fellowship with God and trust in the divine promise. Prayer thus expresses the fact that, as we have been set free by God, so we have had taken from us the evil custody of ourselves which we thought ensured our safety but which in fact fastened us to sin and death. Prayer, indeed is at the centre of the fellowship with God which is determinative of whatever is authentically humane.

John Webster, ‘Evangelical Freedom’, in Confessing God, 225-26.