Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thoughts on Prayer

I've been reading a book by Phillip Yancey called Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? It's a really great exploration of why we pray, and some of the difficulties of prayer, etc. I've begun to realize, though, that reading about prayer only increases my intellectual knowledge about the subject. Improving my prayer life and activity requires something more than research.
I want to become a better pray-er. I read accounts of the great prayer warriors from Christian history, and hear my co-workers talk about prayer groups and meetings, but it just leaves me feeling inadequate and wanting more. I live a good life, serving my God, but that is no substitute for a relationship with Him.
I think my struggles with praying stem from the overarching problem of discipline that lately has kept surfacing in my life. Basically - I don't have discipline, and I need it. To be a better friend, to be a better campus minister, to e a better Christian, to be a better support-raiser, to be a better child of God.
The thing I read most recently in the book that has stuck with me is that when we pray, our minds wander and we get distracted because we aren't really praying for what we want. When we really want something, it's easier to focus our prayer on it than when we are praying for peace in Darfur. But then again, the more we pray, the more our wants and desires will reflect what God is desiring for His people.
I've been giving a lot of advice to people recently to be praying for their struggles, mostly because I don't know what else to say to them. But if I'm not following my own advice, what kind of advice is it?
And with that, I think I'll close this out... and go pray.

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