Monday, August 16, 2010
Blog #43 PRAYER
Blog # 43 PRAYER I remember talking to the father of a small boy playing in a little league. The father was saying that if a boy is going to be a good ball player, somewhere along the line it is necessary for him to learn to be aggressive. Somehow he said, you just do not have the need or the heart to win unless you get the spirit of aggression, the competitive spirit, the difference between someone who is merely "on the team" and someone who "plays the game ". I think it is something like this with the experience of faith and church too. There is some hard-to-describe reality certain people attain that makes the difference between belonging to a church and living as a believer. There are ways we can tell a boy or a girl has reached the point of really playing ball rather than just belonging to a ball team by his or her attendance and enthusiasm for practice, interest in big league ball, and his or her batting average on the field. It would seem there are also similar ways we can tell a person has attained a mature and living faith over against a bloodless uninteresting weak habit of merely belonging to a church. It seems that one of the first indicators a person has attained a sincere maturity of faith is the person's experience of prayer. Certain questions are important, such as do we pray, that is do we really talk to God, convinced of His presence to us, and knowing by faith He is our friend and cares for us personally? When do we pray? Alone or with others? Does our prayer consist only or for the most part of requests from God for things we want and need for ourselves, or do we praise and adore God in our prayer, thank God for all God is and does, tell God of our delight and joy in discovering His wisdom and goodness in creation around us, tell God of our love for Him and of the difficulties we experience in fulfilling that love and helping it to grow? The quality of a person's prayer is certainly an indicator of that person's relationship with God. The questions I have referred to are just a few of the questions we might ask ourselves with regard to our prayer experience to find out how well or little our prayer life has developed and what we might do to improve it. In what league are we praying, a little league or the majors?