June 12, 2003

More on prayer...

First off, far be it from me to criticize the way someone else prays. Though I have a hard time finding Biblical justification for a "personal prayer language," it seems only logical that every person would have a personal prayer style, driven by their uniqueness as a person and the uniqueness of their relationship with God. After all, the way I communicate with my kids is different from the way I communicate with my wife, and both are different from the way I communicate with the guy behind the counter at McDonalds.

I think Jesus teaching his followers to address God as "Father" gives us some idea about how we ought to pray, particularly in tone but also in content...take another look at the passage from Matthew I quoted in my 6/3/2003 post below. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I think God wants us to ask Him for what we want! In fact, I think this is exactly what Jesus was doing in Gethsemene:

"Father, if there's any way Your will can be accomplished without me having to pass through this suffering, please let that be the way. But even if there's not, what I want most is that Your will be accomplished." (Mt 26:39, NeoTheologue Paraphrase, heh!)

So the question becomes, "What do you really want?" Usually, when I pray for myself, I find myself following Jesus' example without even realizing it. "Father, I know that anything is possible for you. Please heal me/help me/do this for me. But what's really important to me is that Your will is done." I think I can pray like this with complete faith (even when what I'm asking for is physically impossible or incredibly improbable) but also in complete submission to God's will. Of course, I'm far from objective...

What do you think?

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