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Prayer: Not as Easy as We Pretend

While going through When God's People Pray: Six Sessions on the Transforming Power of Prayer (Zondervangroupware(tm) Small Group Edition) in our church small group, it occurred to me that without prayer, Christians are nothing but pagan philosophers. I doubt I'm the first to think of it this way, and maybe I heard it somewhere else.

Praying is not as easy as blogging, arguing, pontificating, listening to the radio, reading. You get the idea.

We were challenged to pray with our spouses over the next two weeks, and, beforehand, choose a number of times as our goal. Nothing magical or romantic about that, but it is part of the necessary discipline.

What in our lives needs to change to make it happen? Am I tired when I get home? Hungry for a meal? Lazy? Too many other distractions? There are good distractions, like family, and less useful distractions like, say, blogging.

I've long contended that we are more apt to complain about people than pray for them.

Politics is one obvious place, as we don't like so-and-so in office or running for office. Have we we prayed for them? No? Then shut up, and get on our knees.

Another common gripe among Christians is people or structures in our own churches. Unless we are praying for them, we are rather full of gas when it comes to wanting change. Unless we ourselves are asking God to change us, and change others, we aren't really interested in change.

I have my number. Got yours?

Update 1/17/07: Started well, skipped a few days, and now am back on track. One day to meet my number, but if my intention is to merely 'make goal', then I will have missed the point of consistent prayer. A relationship with God is not about checklisting, but a constancy that transcends schedules and other impediments.
There is more to say on prayer, but talk is cheap, so, for now, this'll be enough.

PS: As suggested through a response from Justice:

Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home


Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
(see my review)
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