• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Created for Communion

[For our next discussion, I would encourage you to read chapters 12-18 in Paul Miller’s book, A Praying Life]

Prayer often feels like a task, not like a time of communion.  For that reason, I was struck by Paul Miller’s comment in chapter 12 where he describes the prayer of a young child: “Because Luke was created for communion with God, he naturally drifted into prayer.  He was unaware that two hundred years ago Kant divided knowledge into public and private, thus marginalizing prayer. Because Luke had become aware of his own culture, he also knew he had to hide his praying from his mother.”

Naturally drifting into prayer is not the natural reflex for most of us.  Yet, it is the innate response of a “child” who senses the great love of his/her Father; a love that is based not on what he/she has done, but on the simple fact that he/she belongs to the Father.  This is not something that comes naturally to me as an “adult”.  But the desire for that communion should lead me to turn more and more to turn to Him in prayer.  Perhaps the reminder of the reality of who I am to the Father would be a good starting point for my prayers, for our prayers.

We can also feel the disapproval of the culture around us to prayer.  Have you ever hesitated to pray (or to offer to pray) in a given situation, wondering what others might think?  I am not suggesting that we become “prayer dispensing machines”, but there have been times when I have felt led by the Spirit to offer to pray for others and I have talked myself out of it.  I now see those as missed opportunities to bring others into communion with our Father.

Prayer is not a task, but experiencing it as “communion” is the journey that we are on and for which we need one another in order to “drift more and more naturally into prayer.”

2 Responses

  1. I am encouraged by the idea of “naturally drifting into prayer.” When it happens that way there seems to be a freshness and vitality that often is missing when I seek to engage in intentional prayer. I would welcome further input on these two aspects of prayer, both of which seem important.

    • In his chapter, “Our Spiritual Journey: cultivating an inner life that sustains outwardly-focused living” (Prayer as a Place), author Charles Bello writes: “Healthy spirituality is expressed by heartfelt repentance and faith in the character of God. Spiritual disciplines that are helpful at this stage include Bible reading, confession of sin, and corporate and personal worship.” Though this is not specifically about prayer, I think it gives us some rails to run on or reflect on. Intentional prayer contains an element of needed structure, which can be provided by interaction with others in the community. That disciplined or intentional prayer, by God’s grace, would lead to more quickly “drifting naturally into prayer” as our hearts are re-focused regularly in community on our first love.

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