Excerpt from “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller. I wanted to post this just for me to document and remember later on. Darn that I have to give this book back to its owners soon!
“[Prayer] is both being and doing. I’m with God. I sense his presence. He is speaking into my life. But our relationship doesn’t float. I’m not hunting for an experience with God; I’m inviting God into my life experience. He is in me, and I am in him. As I bring to him my real life with my real needs, he acts in amazing ways. He is at work touching my life, doing what I can’t do. The result? Thanksgiving. You don’t have to work at worship when God is so alive.
Learned helplessness lurks just underneath the surface of that prayer time. I simply can’t do life on my own. Without God’s intervention, I am completely helpless. I need Jesus.
I woke up in the middle of the night recently with this rather odd question on my mind: How would you love someone without prayer? I mean, what would it look like if you loved someone but couldn’t pray for that person? It was a puzzle to me. I couldn’t figure out what it would look like. Love without being able to pray feels depressing and frustrating, like trying to tie a knot with gloves on. I would be powerless to do the other person any real good. People are far too complicated; the world is far too evil; and my own heart is too off center to be able to love adequately without praying. I need Jesus.
We don’t need a praying life because that is our duty. That would wear thin quickly. We need time to be with our Father every day because every day our hearts and the hearts of those around us are overgrown with weeds. We need to reflect on our lives and engage God with the condition of our souls and the souls he has entrusted to our care or put in our paths. In a fallen world these things do not come automatically.”