Chat with the Author: Dean Ridings:
- What does the juxtaposition of "walking" and "talking" tell us about how you perceive and practice praying?
DEAN>>> A constant refrain in the book is that God’s there, He cares, and He listens to and responds to prayer. Just this morning in my devotions I read again that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). He loves us and longs for an abiding relationship with us. In light of this, let’s do as Brother Lawrence encouraged us so long ago to do, “practice the presence of God.” Let’s walk and talk with Him—the God who is there, cares, hears and responds to our prayers!
- How do the "three forms of praying" set a foundation for communicating with God?
DEAN>>> I love how S. D. Gordon spoke of three different forms of prayer—communion (being on good terms with God); petition (presenting our requests to God); and intercession (standing as a go-between for others). Prayer has been a passion of mine since I picked up my first prayer journal in the early 1990s. So I have a number of books on prayer in my personal library. Interestingly, most focus on the first two forms or prayer, briefly addressing the third. This book addresses the value of the first two, and puts the spotlight on the third, praying for everyone in your world.
- Why do you begin your teaching on prayer with a section on "Living like Jesus?"
DEAN>>> This is the first of three sections in the book—the other two are Loving like Jesus and Leading like Jesus. The first section is all about looking to Jesus’ relationship with the Father and following His example. Jesus would get up early, before dawn, and spend quality time with the Father. He has such an abiding relationship with the Father, a walking and talking relationship, that it certainly caught the attention of His disciples, who asked Him to teach them how to pray in the same way: Lord, teach us to pray!
- The second section of the book connects praying with "Loving like Jesus" ... How do they work together?
DEAN>>> Then comes Loving like Jesus, which begins with Matthew 9:35-38, where Jesus was filled with compassion and commanded His followers to pray for laborers in the harvest. In Matthew 10:1ff, we see that they became part of the answer to their own prayers! This is a snapshot of Jesus’ compassion for what I call the “helpless, hopeless, hurting, and lost” around Him. This portion of the book elaborates on “everyone in your world”—family members, people in your community or at church, and so forth. It offers biblical support and examples from church history and the present day about why we should intentionally intercede for everyone around us—even ourselves!
- In the "Leading like Jesus" section you write about legacy...
DEAN>>> I share a number of personal stories in this book, and one is the legacy left by my grandparents. My grandfather was a minister in the pulpit for five decades, and he spent another decade as an interim pastor. Yet I didn’t have an opportunity to meet my grandfather until I was in my teens. I met my father about the same time, because he was a rebellious preacher’s kid who left my mom before I was born. Though my grandparents weren’t allowed to visit, I learned later that they never stopped praying for their wayward son, his wife, and their four children. Whether or not family in the future remember my name, I want them to know that prayer is in the DNA of this family! It’s my hope and prayer that this book inspires many, many people to leave a legacy of prayer, just as the Rev. A. Lorein and Virginia Ridings did in ours.
- BONUS QUESTION ~ What’s the first step to walking and talking with God?
DEAN>>> Many (if not all) Christians I know are not satisfied with their prayer lives. They mistakenly believe they have to arrive at a certain level of perfection in prayer. For some, they simply aren’t satisfied with the total amount of time they spend in prayer. It’s as if a stopwatch starts when they begin praying and stops after “amen.” When it comes to pursuing a walking-and-talking relationship with God, simply put one foot in front of the other—walk, talk, listen, respond. Think of it this way, the time you spend “doing life with God” is prayer. Yes, there will be more concentrated times when we fall to our knees, as it were, and offer prayers and petitions, when we intercede and express thanks. Honestly, let’s take seriously Brother Lawrence’s enduring invitation to “practice the presence of God.”
Feel free to contact Dean at email@example.com.