Sunday, 23 September 2012

Cliche'd prayer?

Pose, pretense, and posturing are primary dangers that threaten prayer. Ignorance is no impediment, and most emphatically not sin. The great temptation always crouching at the door of prayer is to use prayer as a way to avoid God: using God language to avoid God relationship; using the name of God as a screen behind which to hide from God. Clich├ęs are the usual verbal giveaways of prayer that is, in fact, nonprayer.
 --p.278 from Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson

Prayer has to be one of the most paradoxical aspect for a Christian living. It should be the most basic and natural activity for a Christian. It's just talking to the Father who loves you dearly, and you can talk to Him about anything really. No need to craft your words and phrases. And yet, the words and phrases are vitally important, because otherwise you wouldn't actually be talking. You might be speaking or chanting, but you won't be talking. And when you are talking to someone as majestic as God, someone you love so much (at least you confess to do so), you cannot help but choose your words carefully. You engage your mind and heart as you speak — anyway, are we ever excused from doing that anyway no matter whom you are talking to? It seems to me that genuinely engaging with the Person you are talking to is what is difficult.

The biggest problem for me about praying remains to be not praying enough. But when I do pray, it isn't so hard for me, I can do it, except, it's awfully hard to pray genuinely.

(Image source: Ambrozjo)

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