Monday, November 06, 2017

Why don't we pray more?

In many ways, prayer is a difficult practice to understand. I say “practice” rather than “topic” precisely because prayer is not to be discussed in an abstract sense, but enacted through regular discipline of communion with God. Prayer is that practice, perhaps above all others, that is open to all Christians, and yet neglected most. This may be the case because we fear the terrifying intimacy of communion with God in prayer. We are intimidated by Martin Buber’s famous “Thou” that demands an exacting encounter. Or it may be that the church prefers the reduction of God to a list of doctrines or a mechanistic principle instead of encountering the numinous and personal God who encounters us in prayer just as we encounter him. Perhaps in these days it is easier to commodify God into a principle or a totem for consumption rather than treat him as the personal God that he is, who deserves (and demands) the reverence and awe that is due him in prayer.—Heath Thomas, Habakkuk, forthcoming in the THOTC series.

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