Petitioning without relationship - that's what our praying so often amounts to, even though it's well disguised. No matter how piously we couch our requests and no matter how passionately we declare our confidence in the Giver's generosity, we stay in receiving mode. "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" It's all about us.
Our prayers of communion and worship sometimes have more to do with staying on God's good side in order to get more blessings than with building our relationship with Him. The idea of knowing God and being known by Him just doesn't seem that important.
For some, it's irrelevant. Children during a long, hot summer may know the ice cream man's name and may even greet him warmly and enjoy his smile, but the point is the ice cream. When my grandkids sit on Santa's lap in the mall, they have yet to ask Santa how he's doing, if maybe he's getting a little tired of all these kids. They hop on his lap, recite their list of desired gifts, and hop off. We Christians call it prayer.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I'm reading Larry Crabb's book The PAPA Prayer. Here is a great excerpt from it: