Skip to main content

Perspective on Prayer

Acts 9:13-14 (New International Version)

13"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

This is one of those passages that I smile at every time I read it. The Lord had appeared to Ananias with instructions to go to a specific person's house where he would find "a man named Saul." Saul probably topped the "Least Likely to Become a Christian" list of of the first century. What is so funny is the fact that Ananias felt compelled to inform the Lord about who Saul was--as if he didn't know.

One of the books I'm reading at the moment is Philip Yancey's book, Prayer--Does It Make Any Difference? (published by Zondervan). In the second chapter, Philip talks about what passes for prayer so often. When coming to God with his concerns, Philip says,"I inform God, as if God did not already know." Hmmm, me too--maybe I shouldn't laugh so hard at Ananias--maybe I am Ananias.

Philip talks about coming at prayer from a different perspective--beginning with God--"starting upstream," he calls it, "where the flow begins." He talks about asking God what part he can play in his work on earth, and wonders, "Will I stand by the bank, or jump in the stream?"

"Prayer, and only prayer, restores my vision to one that more resembles God's. I awake from blindness to see that wealth lurks as a terrible danger, not a goal worth striving for; that value depends not on race or status, but on the image of God every person bears; that no amount of effort to improve physical beauty has much relevance for the world beyond."
Philip Yancey

How skewed my perspective and goals can become. When I compare my behaviour with the pattern laid out in the gospels, I realize that I am far more a child of the world than a child of God as far as my actions go. I need time in prayer for God to reorient my heart to his heart--his goals. Prayer is truly more about that than about telling God what he already knows.

Matthew 6:7-8 (New International Version)

7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Just Joy!

Our family has a standing date for Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. Not that we don't see each other at any other time, but we all know that particular Sunday is pretty much for sure--and I look forward to it so much--the front door bursting open and our house being filled once more with the voices and vibrancy of six grandchildren and their parents. 

This week Spero, Brenda's new Australian Shepherd puppy came too, and met his extended family, leaving Molson at home to have a rest! He was duly adored by all of us.


He came with a dazzling array of toys and is proving a fast learner, already sitting on command and responding to Tori's training. I was so impressed at her technique of quickly rewarding a turnaround from any slight naughtiness with praise for "good sitting," or "good" any other desirable behaviour! 

Tippy had her hair cut stunningly and bravely short the day before; making a statement about who she is as a unique individual, o…

The Secret Adventures of Susan's Scottish Scarf

By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew. 
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate. 
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!