Thursday, October 01, 2009

Prayer: A Window into the Soul

You can learn about a person by simply listening to how they pray. Is the rhythm of their prayer rigid and saturated with words and phrases from the 1600’s. Does it feel like their talking to someone whose not actually there? Or, is it fluid and conversational.

I love the line in one of Misty Edward’s worship songs where it says,

I don't want to talk about You like You're not in the room
I want to look right at You I want to sing right to You I believe that You are listening
I believe that You move at the sound of my voice

This is how I long for my prayers to be, with the intimacy and ease of simply talking to God as if He was right there – with me. The truth is, He is. Augustine of Hippo spoke to this reality when he wrote, “God is closer to your soul than you are yourself.”

Many of us ask, “Where is God?” But that’s like asking the location of air or the direction of sunlight. The divine Presence is not a “thing” that is “out there.” Lovers abide in God and God in them. “For then the soul is in God and God in the soul just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish.” (Catherine of Siena)

Every time I get into an automobile,” writes Albert Haase in his book coming Home to Your True Self. “I look at those words printed on the bottom of the passenger side-view mirror: ‘Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.’ That speaks of the divine Presence. God is closer to us than we have ever imagined or dreamt. Genesis portrays Adam and Eve experiencing the divine Presence in the evening breeze (Genesis 3:8).”

Have you ever paused long enough to listen to yourself pray?

Do you find yourself praying about the same things over and over or the same type of things?

When you pray, is there a sense that God is in another room or is there an awareness that He is right there with you?

Last night in New Community, we explored Paul's prayer for those in Philippi:

“And this is my prayer:
that your love may abound more and more

in knowledge
and depth of insight,
so that you may be able to discern
what is best and
may be pure
and blameless for the day of Christ,
with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ
—to the glory and praise of God.”

(Philippians 1:9-11)

What can we learn about talking to God (prayer) by reading and reflecting on Paul’s prayer for the Philippians?

How do your prayers compare to Paul’s?

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