Will we ever get prayer figured out?
I picked up another book hoping I’d finally get prayer figured out. But instead I faced this reality -- I probably never will.
It seems like prayer should be simple enough. After all, I’ve known how to talk for decades now. What’s the difference between talking to God and talking to people?
Well, first of all, for those of us blessed with sight, we can see people, giving us focus and instant feedback of some kind.
And secondly, we are at least on a level playing field. We are all flawed. That can remove some of the immediate intimidation. But through years of Bible reading at least I know this one thing – God loves me. That should at least open the doors to a welcoming conversation.
I think I’ve come to accept the fact that PRAYER will always have a learning curve for me. God uses friends to teach me more. He also uses authors.
Recently I picked up one of the books on prayer I’d read several years ago: Crafted Prayer by Graham Cooke.
My expectations are both high and low in reading a how-to book. I always hope to learn something. And one take-away is enough for me to appreciate the book.
So this is a take-away from Graham on prayer. I’m happy to share it with you and hope it may open your heart to one more insight about the rich conversation we can have with the unseen God who loves us more than anyone:
The Western Church, in my belief, has a flawed understanding of the Trinity. We picture a large figure of authority (the Father), a medium figure of grace (Jesus) and a bird (the Holy Spirit)! Inadvertently, we downgrade the Holy Spirit’s power in our life – what can a bird do, after all?
I greatly prefer the Eastern Church’s view of the Trinity: three equals, sitting at a round table, talking.
If Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding, and the Holy Spirit is there, praying according to the will of God, then there must be a conversation amongst the Three going on. Don’t you wonder what they are saying about you in any given situation? What’s the conversation in heaven over you right now?
By exploring and seeking out this heavenly dialogue, we can learn what God’s will is for a situation and, by extension, what we should be praying.”
Don’t you love this image? The Trinity in prayer for us! That’s the table I want to join.
One of my take-aways from Graham’s insightful little book is this: I need to weave both studying the Word and listening to the Spirit more before I fire off a multiple-choice list for God to consider regarding my current concern. It’s true that prayer becomes more of a labor when done this way. But, hey, in the big issues of my life, I am already likely to be spending time in laborious thinking anyway.
Among the many other practices I continually learn about prayer, I’m going to add this one. I’m going to picture the Trinity around that table praying for me … and then attempt to listen in.
Pull up a chair and sit still
What is weighing on your heart today? What if you find a Bible truth (or several), listen quietly and picture the Trinity around the table praying for you. What are they saying?
And thanks for sitting still with me today. :-)