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Monday, February 27, 2006

Prayer As Relationship


Crabb's basic take on prayer is that relational prayer needs to come before petitionary prayer. For most of us, I would guess, petitionary prayer makes up the majority of our prayer time and everything flows from it. I will speak for myself as I see myself in Crabb's book - I worship, give thanks, confess our sins, and intercede for others all out of selfish motives. God is great because of what he does for me. I better confess my sin so that God has no reason not to give me what I want. I ask God to do something in someone else's life because that will make me like them more and get along with them better.

Against all this, I have always given lip service to the relational component of prayer, but I have very rarely practiced it with any kind of sustained consistency or passion. I am now rediscovering that everything flows out of relationship when it comes to prayer. The papa prayer is a tool - one of many, no doubt - that can help some (me, hopefully) develop the relational centrality of prayer.

More to come.

Tagged -

4 comments:

Sandy Mc said...

OK, I am wierd again...and thanks Robb for being so honest to help me understand others.

For *me* I have a weakness in lacking enough petitionary prayer(perhaps, read on.) Please forgive me because I mean this in all humbleness (and the act of puting it into writing messes up the sincerity) but maybe I really *DO* petition frequently enough, but since I don't have the selfish motives it my "knee time" is less by camparison.

To help others know me, I have to say I had no response to D's post on the original thread yesterday because I really don't think like that, just never have. For me, petition in any selfish form ends up being "God, can you please change me...I am so tired of being me" And this is because I live is this world of selflessness that rarely anyone understands, and often people take advantage of me because of it. I WANT to embrace it (and I try), but I get taken for a fool and it hurts:(

Sara said...

I realize more and more some reasons why i am glad that i did not grow up in the church...because when i started praying i prayed the only way that i knew how...by talking to God.

It caused problems in my family..i think my dad might have thought that i was crazy at some point because he would hear me talking, laughing, and crying to someone that to him 'wasn't really there.'

I had some of my best moments in my prayer life in those early years of christianity before i even learned what 'petitionary' prayer even was.

Now, i am trying to get back to the simplicity of those prayers. Laughing, talking, sharing with God all the feelings and circumstances of the day...and in the end asking him to make something different for the better..and if he didn't then asking him to help me to understand even in the smallest areas.

I'm so thankful for the relationship that i have with God. I don't always honor him the way that i should..and sometimes i'm pretty sure i take those moments alone with him forgranted...but i'm am so thankful that he is always ready and willing to listen...to both mature and immature things.

Have you ever had a conversation with God so real that another person actually thinks you might have snuck somebody into the room. Those were scary but thrilling momentsin my life...and i want them back..

I'm relearning how to have that relationship conversation with God. Loving him, glorifing him, crying to him, in those deepest honest prayers. I try to leave out big theological terms, i've stopped trying to impress God with all my knowledge and i'm reverting back to my child-like faith.

I think that is what God is pleased by.

goboyle said...

I'm a long way from arriving, but last year I did a series of devotionals on prayer in the Old Testament and it reinvigorated my prayer life - because i was challenged with the relationships that Adam, Enoch, Abraham and others seemed to have. It was like God was right there walking with them. Thus, i began to prayer-walk and talk with God as a friend and father. It has been wonderful and now i long to go for my walks, rather than feel guilty that i need to pray. I do know that my father on many occassions misses that walk, but He is growing me to be more honest and open with Him.

I'll have to check the book out for more help.


Thanks,

ness said...

Sara, that's one of the things I love about you....you so often refresh my memory about the simplicity and goodness of simple relating to God and how His love really can sustain us when everyone else fails us.

I think I began to realize the relational aspect of prayer when I realized the power of human relationships in my life. I want to relate to God and yet, He's too much for me sometimes.