What is the Anchor Prayer? (TAW021) (Anchor Prayer, Part 3)

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Episode 021 – What is the Anchor Prayer?

Our church building roof has rock climbing anchors installed on it. It’s a very steep and high roof. Doing maintenance and repair work up there is risky. Those anchor points allow people working on the roof to anchor themselves so they can go about their work and not fall off.

In this series, I’m sharing with you a prayer that has become a similar kind of anchor to me in my life. Along the way, we’re touching on how our brains work, how “abiding in Christ” is a habit we can build, and how memorized prayer helps shape our thinking. Plus I’ll introduce you to the words of this prayer that means so much to me.

Show Notes

Show notes will not be a transcript. At least not now. You’ll find a few key bullet points, any scriptures references, as well as any other books or resources referenced.

  • Recap from the series so far:
    • On Abiding:
      • Jesus taught us that our primary task of faith is to abide or remain. See John 15.
      • Abiding or remaining are not theological abstractions, but a lived experience we can practice.
      • Abiding is about where our minds come to rest.
      • For example, worry is a kind of “abiding.” When we get preoccupied with worry or “future-tripping” we are letting our minds abide in that place. This is a kind of prayer or meditation on imagined worst-case scenarios.
    • On renewing our minds:
      • Paul, in Romans 12:2, tells us that we are to cooperate with God in the process of having our minds (and thus, thoughts) renewed.
      • This is, at least partly, about our mental habits. We have life-long mental habits that don’t lead toward abiding in Christ. But we can also develop new habits!
    • On Prayer:
      • Extemporaneous (or spontaneous and informal) prayer is great at taking our concerns to God, but it doesn’t do much to form us or shape our thoughts.
      • Liturgical Prayer, often drawn from scripture, or from truth found in scripture, can help shape our thoughts. Memorized liturgical prayer is ideal for this.
  • The Anchor Prayer:
    • I rest in faith, trusting Father.
      I walk by faith, following Jesus.
      I hear in faith, obeying Spirit.
      In You,
      I remain.
    • A tip-of-the-iceberg prayer, that brings to mind important truth about our identity before God.
      • “It reminds me of the Father’s sovereignty and grace for me, and that my posture toward the world is to be rest. I’m not in charge. I’m not God.
        It reminds me of my identity as a follower of Christ, that my life is to be made up of steps, actions, choices, that follow after Jesus and his way—and that I do this by faith, not because I’m certain.
        It reminds me that I am not alone, that God is with me through the indwelling Spirit, and that if I pay attention that Guidance is available to me.
        It reminds me that God is ultimately relationship, Father, Son & Spirit, honoring and loving one another in a never-ending dance of creation and that I am invited into that relationship.
        It reminds me that my primary work is not to strive, but to remain.”

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4 thoughts on “What is the Anchor Prayer? (TAW021) (Anchor Prayer, Part 3)

  1. Hi Marc. It’s been a very emotional start to my week. This morning before I got out of bed I said “God, give me this desire. Enable me to desire You. Enable me to desire the things you want for me.” And I spoke wholeheartedly to him. And he surely answered me. Starting with me. I’m starting the journey of me, my worth. Today with the help of someone that loves me, I was able to dig into what God desires for me. And now your anchor prayer. That’s perfect for me and where I am. Thank you! I’m so thankful I signed up for this.

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Bernice! God is near, and always ready for our seeking. I’m so glad to have shown up at the right time. Spirit is perfect like that!

  2. I’m enjoying this series, Marc. Have passed your podcast link along to friends, who, like me, have been struggling with business and life distractions that confound the practice of abiding.

    Memorized prayer was also foreign to me before my introduction to Twelve Step work through Alanon. The Serenity Prayer had seemed foreign and frankly bewildering until that discipline showed what unpacking those phrases can mean and do. I’ve also valued Micah 6:8 throughout my life as a touchpoint. So I guess I was meditating upon memorized prayer without ever realizing it!

    Thanks for this series. It’s very exciting to be able to add The Anchor Prayer to my spiritual resources!

    1. That’s a great point about memorized scripture. Growing up, memorized scripture was highlighted as a way to have scriptural knowledge in mind. A way to keep God’s word with you at all times. Essentially memorization was a tool within the construct of an intellectual faith. But as I read more and more church history, I suspect that for the most part memorized scripture was used as a means of meditation and prayer.

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