I am working through a persuasive writing curriculum that I will use with my daughter and her classmates next year. It's a lot of work. And it isn't always fun. But I am doing it because I believe the Lord has called me to do it. I have been trusting that He has a purpose for this material in my life and in my students' lives.
The program is forcing me to think in great depth through various issues. It is also teaching me to organize my arguments and to use logos, ethos, and pathos to move my audience to agree with me and then act.
So, interestingly, now that I am thinking differently about issues and organizing my thoughts, I have come to find I am also praying about issues differently, too.
This morning, I went to God on behalf of some friends who are struggling. I often do pray for people. But this morning, I found myself listing ways that I thought God should work in my friends' lives and then giving reasons to support each of my ideas. My prayer was a lot more organized than before, something the writing program is teaching me to do with my arguments.
My prayers to God were once filled with pathos, meaning I appealed with emotion to God's emotions. Now, I find that my prayers have more ethos and logos, too. I find myself appealing to more than God's pity: I also appeal to His character, His authority, His ability, even His own precedent that He has set throughout history and through my own life experiences.
It was only when I got a quick vision of God sitting almost laughing at me that I noticed all this difference in my prayers today. There He was as the affectionate schoolmaster, proud and delighted that I had taken His lessons to heart. And there I was as the diligent student, sincere as I have always been, but now more confident, more comfortable, and much more capable of having a conversation my Great Teacher.
And now I begin to see why He has me learning this material in the first place. It is so that I can relate to Him better. Everything He does in my life and in your life is so that you and I will be able to know Him better and better.
I also felt a great sense of certainty that God would answer my prayer for my friends this morning, but I understood that it is not because I am better at persuading Him than I was before, though I think I am getting better at persuasion in general. He would answer my prayer for the same reason that He has always answered my prayers, and that is because He has the same perfect pathos, ethos, and logos towards me, my friends, and all of mankind that He has always had. I need only appeal to Him. His great love, power, and wisdom work out all the rest of the matter in perfect detail.