Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Monday, March 9, 2015

Why Pray?

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One might ask, “Why do we need to practice prayer as a discipline?” We have severely impaired attention spans because of our fallen, sinful nature. In prayer we attend our minds to God, and all too often that attention lasts for a few seconds. We begin our prayer with "Heavenly Father," and it is not long before our minds are meandering off; attending to anything other than the One we began to address. It is for this reason that we must undertake prayer as a spiritual discipline — to enable ourselves to attain the single-mindedness necessary to attend to the God-who-is-present. It is also vital for us to understand that prayer, just as every other discipline, is a learning process. We will find ourselves distracted. We will notice our minds wandering among the countless concerns of the day. However, as we continue in the paths of prayer, our meanders will be shorter and less frequent.

Prayer is conversation or communication with God. It involves both speaking and listening. So often we pray as if it were a monologue. But prayer is so much more than talking to God. In fact, the seasoned prayer warrior knows that prayer is more about listening than talking. Soren Kierkegaard said, "A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end he realized that prayer is listening." And this makes sense because God knows much more than we do — and He knows it a whole lot better than we do.

Prayer is opening our lives to God for change. Prayer is recognition that God is God and we are not, and so in prayer we yield our desires to God's. Jesus prayed, "Not my will but yours." In prayer we ask God to change the way we see other people, life, and our circumstances. When you look at other people and your situation, see the eyes of Christ. It is then that transformation happens.

 You know I love ya, Don

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