I’ve been reading this book on and off, and have pretty much read the whole book. But I’m reading it again from the beginning because it encourages me so much and I’ve forgotten so much. As I reread it, I will jot down some good points that I want to remember. This will be an ongoing post.
Our natural desire to pray comes from Creation. We are made in the image of God. Our inability to pray comes from the Fall. Evil has marred the image. We want to talk to God but can’t.The friction of our desire to pray, combined with a badly damaged prayer antennae, leads to constant frustration. (p 15)
One of the subtlest hindrances to prayer is probably the most pervasive. In the broader culture and in our churches, we prize intellect, competency, and wealth. Because we can do life without God, praying seems nice but unnecessary. Money can do what prayer does, and it is quicker and less time-consuming. Our trust in ourselves and our talents makes us structurally independent of God. (p 16)
A praying life feels like our family mealtimes because prayer is all about relationship. It’s intimate and hints at eternity. We don’t think about communication or words but about whom we are talking with. Prayer is simply the medium through which we experience and connect to God…Consequently, prayer is not the center of this book. Getting to know a person, God, is the center. (p 20)
Since a praying life is interconnected with every part of our lives, learning to pray is almost identical to maturing over a lifetime. What does it feel like to grow up? It is a thousand feelings on a thousand different days. That is what learning to pray feels like.
So don’t hunt for a feeling in prayer. Deep in our psyches we want an experience with God or an experience in prayer. Once that we make that our quest, we lose God. You don’t experience God; you get to know him. You submit to him. You enjoy him. He is, after all, a person. (p 21)
Jesus lived today, his cell phone would be ringing constantly…Learning to pray doesn’t offer us a less busy life; it offers us a less busy heart. In the midst of outer busyness we can develop an inner quiet. (23)