Monday, January 16, 2012

what I'm reading: come messy (Paul Miller on prayer)

So often I feel like I have to fix myself before I pray. I have to stop worrying. I have to calm down. I have to concentrate. I have to make sure I have enough uninterrupted time. I have to psyche myself up, get into the proper mental state.

We're trying to become spiritual, to get it right. We know we don't need to clean up our act to become a Christian, but when it comes to praying, we forget that...Private, personal prayer is one of the last bastions of legalism.
Prayer becomes performance - something I'm ill-equipped for - instead of a pouring out of my need. I've forgotten the gospel. I've forgotten grace. I've forgotten that prayer is a little child coming to her Father. I've forgotten to come messy:

Jesus does not say ‘Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest.’ No, Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says ‘Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matthew 11:28) The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.

Paul Miller A praying life pages 30-32

image is by ushtey at flickr


Unknown said...

One of THE best books on prayer.


Meredith said...

I just got this book for my birthday. Can't wait to get into it.

Sarah said...

Such an encouraging post. Thanks Jean!