Today, I’m going to share a quote with you to think about. It has given me food for thought today as I was getting ready to attend a small prayer group. It is from the book A Praying Life: Connecting with GOD in a Distracting World. The book is by Paul E. Miller. If you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend it.
The quote is from the forward to the book that was written by David Powlison, a friend of Paul’s. He is also an author of many books on applied Christian living as well as editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. He has taught as a seminary professor, counseled and at times, pastored over the years.
In more recent years, he has also dealt with chronic fatigue syndrome as well.
“Prayer–it tends to become a production and a problem.
Life–it’s aways a production and a problem. You cycle through your to-do list, your anxieties, distractions, pressures, pleasures, and irritants.
GOD–He’s there, somewhere, sometimes.
Somehow those two problematic productions and the Lord of heaven and earth don’t all get on the same page very often.
But prayer isn’t meant to be a production or a problem. And GOD is here, now. Prayer is meant to be a conversation where your life and your GOD meet…
A praying life is an oddly normal way to live. The best our world has to offer is to teach you how to talk to yourself. Change what you tell yourself, and your feelings about what happened will change. Change your self-talk, and how you feel about yourself will change. Talk yourself out of getting upset about what you can’t change. Do something constructive about what you can change. Those are the world’s best efforts. It’s a familiar but abnormal way to live.
But Jesus lives and teaches something different. What He does–and helps you do–is unfamiliar but normal. It’s human and it’s humane: how life’s meant to be. He teaches you how to stop talking to yourself. He shows you how to stop making prayer into a production. Jesus teaches you to start talking to your Father… He shows you how to start talking with the GOD who rules the world, who has freely chosen to take your best interests to heart.
Talking life over with this on-scene GOD is the sort of conversation worth calling “prayer,” You find several hundred examples in the Bible… The Bible’s prayers traffic in both daily life and the real GOD. They bring real troubles and need to a GOD who really listens. They never seem like a production. They sound and feel real because they are real.” –David Powlison
Usually I want to ramble on about something like this that I read, but I thought I’d pass it on for your thinking. For sure, He writes better than I do!
Is prayer the place where you converse with GOD?
Are you aware of bringing the real needs of your life to a GOD who can actually do something about them?
I must confess, I often find myself making more of a production out of prayer than I need to…and not actually praying. I don’t make the most of my time so I can honestly bring the needs of my life to GOD.
Maybe you don’t have trouble making the time to spend with GOD like this, but I know this is often a weak area for me. It is one that I need to take concrete steps toward improving, by GOD’s grace.