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Monday, June 26, 2006

cover of The Screwtape Letters

This is the first time I actually finished this book. I've read the beginning before and got caught up in something else. Anyway, this is probably one of Lewis' most famous novels. The premise is that Screwtape has a young nephew, Wormwood, with whom he corresponds about life. And both of them happen to be in the service of 'Our Father Below'. Wormwood has a 'patient' who he is supposed to corrrupt and keep from joining the service of the 'Enemy' aka God. Lewis takes the opportunity to imagine what demons might reason about various things, to give a fresh perspective to the reader about sin and choices and what it means to serve God.

Wormwood and Screwtape have a few discussions about prayer. About what it means to corrupt prayer and make the prayers of this patient useless. Which raises plenty of good questions. If you are praying to someone who is not God, but simply your idea of God, does the real God still hear your prayers and answer them? Does praying simply mean thinking good thoughts? By praying, is it better to be vague and nebulous or to ask for specific things and bring up specific questions to God? Prayer is a vital part of knowing God, and so easy to get sidetracked from. Prayer can become a rote piece of the day instead of remembering that prayer is really a conversation that brings humans into the presence of the Most High God, which is not something to be taken lightly. Perhaps all the prayers that are said without real intent and focus behind them are not really said to God at all? And yet -- I know that grace is extended to each of us more often and in greater measures than we could ever deserve. So -- God must extend some grace to us in our prayers and hear us even when we are quite unsure of what we are praying or who we are praying to, as long as we are generally aimed toward Him and not from Him. Perhaps. Still in process on this...

Title:The Screwtape Letters
Author: C. S. Lewis
Date published:1941
Genre: Religious Fiction
Number of pages: 134


Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to read this for a while. A co-worker did a good job selling me the idea that this was a really good book. I've never read anything by C.S. Lewis, although I'm quiet familiar with him(Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, etc.).

sapphire said...

hey anthony -- i highly recommend lewis. narnia & a few others are easy enjoyable reads, while others can take quite a bit of concentration! but worth the time. thanks for you comment.

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