Continuing with the three classic ways of proactive prayer, Foster shares that the second approach to "Formation Prayer" is the "active pursuit of humility." Humility is one topic I've devoted little if any study to. I was intrigued by Foster's description and hope to study this further.
Foster defines humility as living "as close to the truth as possible; to the truth about ourselves, to the truth about others, and to the truth about the world around us." What a profound life altering statement. Spiritual formation in prayer comes as we remove hindrances to truth in our life and pursue Christ. How often does spiritual pride, past teachings, or long held doctrinal positions keep us from truth? This is something I feel I've not had much luck in conveying to church people. Walk through life holding everything you know, everything you are, and everything you hold dear with open hands out in front of you. Learn to trust the Holy Spirit. He reserves the right to change anything at any time. That scares us, but there is no other way to have true relationship and find truth on God's terms. I'm picturing in my mind a little child wanting to buy something at the store. They take all their money out of their pockets and hold it out for the clerk. The clerk then picks the right amount out of the child's hand. To me, that fits foster's definition of humility.
Foster says "Humility is, in fact, filled with power to bring forth life." It means being fertile ground and a good soil ready to receive the seed. Think of Jesus' Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13. I've spent a lot of time studying this parable, but I've never studied it in light of humility and as a formation prayer. This is what prayer does, it takes us past our self and begins to till up the soil of our life. In humility we release everything to the sower and allow him to plant His Word which will bring about a thirty, sixty, and one-hundred fold harvest. Prayer takes us on a journey that God intends for us all.