Evidence that Prayer is More than Emo ~ BitterSweetLife

Monday, October 15, 2007

Evidence that Prayer is More than Emo

I'm not sure it's possible to grow up in or near North American Christianity without adopting the idea that prayer is the venting of our raw emotions to God. And, based on a lot of scripture, I think that prayer has to include this, since Jesus is the only one who knows us exhaustively and is capable of carrying everything that hurts us.

But in a very narcissistic culture fixated with emotional honesty, maybe we lose the fact that our prayers should also reflect the character of God and not just our own:

If we are to pray aright, perhaps it is quite necessary that we pray contrary to our own hearts. Not what we want to pray is important, but what God wants us to pray. The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our prayer, not the poverty of our heart. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Paul said...

Contemplative prayer is the form I've personally found most meaningful for many years now. It's neither emotive nor "petitionary" - asking God for favors. It's more like simply asking to be led a little into God's presence.

Ariel said...

I agree, contemplative prayer is a great weapon in the arsenal. It can do a world of good to stop talking long enough to acknowledge God's presence and character. I wouldn't want to diss petitionary prayer in any way, though, seeing as Jesus strongly urged his disciples to ask their Father for everything they needed.

Alban, Teacher of God said...

Hi Ariel,

The greatest or most effective prayer to me is always the prayer of the heart, meaning what I really ask for. My words may coincide with what I really ask for or not. I can be completely unaware of what I really ask for in any given sitation. Yet only what I really ask for is what I am getting. In fact, I always get what I am asking for. Looking at what I am getting or receiving therefore has to be the way to recognize what I am asking for.

For me the greatest prayer resource has been A Course In Miracles with its incredible beautiful prayers, especially from Workbook Lesson 221 on.

I also would be interested to hear from you what those prayers are to you, if you look at them as a writer. Apart from that, what counts is the experience. And where there is gratitude, love is not far behind.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife