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Monday, March 06, 2006

The Papa Prayer

I have finished Larry Crabb's wonderful book on prayer. Maybe as you've read the Grenz, you've wondered what the Papa prayer is exactly. Basically, it is an outline with which to organize prayer that focuses much more on relating to God than getting stuff from him. Here's the outline with some quotes and key thoughts from Crabb.

Present yourself to God.
Be honest about where you are at, what you are feeling, and what you are going through. Using the mall directory with its "you are here" red dot, Crabb urges us to "Enter your red dot."

Attend to how you are thinking of God.
We have so many wrong ideas of God when we come to him in prayer. Often we think of him as a ... Smiling Buddy, Backroom Watchmaker, Preoccupied King, Vending Machine, Stern Patriarch, Kindly Grandfather, Impersonal Force, Cruel Tyrant, Moral Crusader, or Romantic Lover. Revelation 1:10-18 gives us a much different picture. We need to talk honestly with God about what we are thinking about him so that we can make sure our view of him is correct.

Purge yourself of anything that blocks your relationship with God.
Crabb writes, "In the center of your soul and mine, in the exact center, the Shekhinah glory resides – the literal, real, overwhelming presence of God." But we don't often live from that center. We live out of self-glory that results in relational sin. Crabb also says, "Right now, we’re all living with relational sin that we do not see." We must abandon ourselves to holiness, which is expressed in real love.

Approach God as the “first thing” in your life.
Crabb says, "I do not believe that we hear Papa’s voice until we discover an empty, desolate void within us that is teeming with passionate desires for fullness." Getting beyond everything else we want, we have to want God most of all. That means coming to him with an empty heart and finding that he is our Guide, Healer, King, Friend, and Donor.

These are some summary thoughts. I am still processing this book, planning on reading it again, and posting more as I consider it.

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4 comments:

klasieprof said...

"We must abandon ourselves to holiness"

Ok..I get that..and it moves me. But its the HOW I don't get. I'm not even sure I WANT to...Its out of my control if I abandon...THEN WHAT would happen? I'm not kidding here..I'm serious as a heart attack.
I mean..yah the GOAL has been "surrender" a term I've never been comfortable with...it seems so ONE sided..ME doing the surrendering..somehow ABANDON..is much more powerful..and permanent than surrender.
And what about the things I'm not sure I WANT to "abandon" what happens to them?
Its not like I have on my fingers 1, 3, 4, things..its more the general IDEA of "abandon" . Yeah Yah.>I know I'd be "safe" in the arms of Jesus..I"m not talking about that.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing.
I have been a fan of Crabb since "FInding God" and he continues to show a "heart path" rather than a "mind-path" (let's just figure out God theologically and talk jargon instead of living truth).
Knowing the Father is just a bigger deal than that.

check me out at www.redleafdesigns.ca/vangobel

cheers

RV

Christine said...

Hello, found your blog through Ness' Butterfly blog.

I love that he wrote this book, had this heart for God~ I'm excited by the thought that others may start to do this sort of prayer as a way of life, too! I've been endlessly expounding it on my blog, I'm sure people must be sooo bored of it, by now, but I can't seem to overemphasize how amzing the changes are, when you do this stuff~ put God first in everything, and strive to get closer and closer to Him.

Thank you so much for bringing this book to my attention!

Christine said...

klasieprof, I hope you don't mind if a complete stranger replies to your question, but having gone through all the struggle myself, I can tell you that it went a little bit and then a little bit more, etc.

God didn't push for me to abandon ALL to Him, right off the bat~ He's allowed the relationship and trust to grow between us, slowly and surely, so that I grow willing to abandon one more area of my life to Him.
He does a better job at everything than I do, anyway.