Prayer

Posted on 2007-07-26. Filed under: Prayers, Thoughts |

I just began three or four books. One of them is Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. On the inside front of the coverjacket, there is this quote from the book:

The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives — altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. But what I have come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture. We do not have to be bright, or pure, or filled with faith, or anything. That is what grace means, and not only are we saved by grace, we live by it as well. And we pray by it.

What a great truth! There are people who are ready to journey with God; they have repented of their sins and received forgiveness and there is now no condemnation for them. However, they are hesitant for some reason to take those first steps. Perhaps they are waiting for something to happen within them (in their heart) or around them (in their circumstances). But, that waiting is not necessary. As the book says in Chapter One, “Very simply, we begin right where we are: in our families, on our jobs, with our neighbors and friends. Now, I wish this did not sound so trivial, because, on the practical level of knowing God, it is the most profound truth we will ever hear. To believe that God can reach us and bless us in the ordinary junctures of daily life is the stuff of prayer. …the only place God can bless us is right where we are, because that is the only place we are!

May I always remember this! The best time to start is now and the best place to begin is now and the best person to do it is me!

Earlier in what I guess would be called the introduction, there is this illustration of prayer:

One day a friend of mine was walking throug a shopping mall with his two-year-old son. The child was in a particularly cantankerous mood, fussing and fuming. The frustrated father treid everything to quiet his son, but nothing seemed to help. The child simply would not obey. Then, under some special inspiration, the father scooped up his son and, holding him close to his chest, began singing an impromptu love song. None of the words rhymed. he sang off key. And yet, as best he could, this father began sharing his heart. “I love you,” he sang. “I’m so glad you’re my boy. You make me happy. I like the way you laugh.” On they went from one store to the next. Quietly the father continued singing off key and making up words that did not rhyme. The child relaxd and became still, listening to this strange and wonderful song. Findally, they finished shopping and went to the car. As the father opened the door and prepared to buckle his son into the carseat, the child lifted his head and said simply, “Sing it to me again, Daddy! Sing it to me again!” Prayer is a little like that. With simplicity of heart we allow ourselves to be gatherd up into the arms of the Father and let him sing his love song over us.

And lastly, in the beginning paragraphs of Chapter One, he says this and it’s an important point:

But for now there is one “something” that needs immediate attention. It is the notion — almost universal among us modern high achievers — that we have to have everything “just right” in order to pray. …But we are starting from the wrong end of things — putting the cart before the horse. Our problem is that we assume prayer is something to master the way we master algebra or auto mechanics. That puts us in the “on-top” position, wehere we are competent and in control But when praying, we come “underneath,”where we calmly and deliberately surrender control and become incompetent. “To pray,” writes Emilie Griffin, “means to be willing to be naive.”

Good things to ponder…

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