Tuesday, 20 January 2015

My Prayer Adventure - An Invitation

"But if God is so good as you represent Him, and if He knows all that we need, and better far than we do ourselves, why should it be necessary to ask Him for anything?

I answer, What if He knows Prayer to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God's idea of prayer be the supplying of our great, our endless need - the need of Himself? Hunger may drive the runaway child home, and he may or may not be fed at once, but he needs his mother more than his dinner. Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other need: prayer is the beginning of that communion, and some need is the motive of that prayer. So begins a communion, a talking with God, a coming-to-one with Him, which is the sole end of prayer." ~George MacDonald

So, I thought I would share my notes/summary on the chapters of Larry Crabb's book, The PAPA Prayer. My notes include my thoughts and this method works with my personality so it's what I'm going with. No point in trying to be someone I'm not, right? :)

The book starts in such a welcoming manner that puts you at ease. First he shares 3 personal stories and then he gives an invitations ... an invitation to pray The PAPA Prayer.  This is for those "who want to know God so well that His life actually becomes theirs." (p. xvii)

He begins his invitation with 9 questions about your prayer life and relationship with God. If you answer honestly, you will probably feel at least slightly uncomfortable and your answers will be very telling. Please, if you pick up this book to read, answer the questions honestly! :)

These are the questions he asks:

"1. Ever ask for something from God that you didn't receive?
2.  Ever pray for guidance, especially in a difficult relationship, that never came?
3.  Ever really need to hear God's voice and then try to believe you did, even though you weren't sure?
4. Do you sometimes feel that God is turning a deaf ear to your most desperate prayer requests?
5. Have you ever prayer for comfort yet ended up feeling more empty and alone after you prayed?
6. Has praying for strength to overcome temptation ever left you feeling just as weak and the temptation just as strong, or even stronger?
7. Do you know God well enough to enjoy His company, the same way you enjoy being with a family member or close friend?
8. Do you want to know God better and enjoy Him more than you know and enjoy anyone else?
9. Do you connect with God in such a way that enables you to hear His voice and to know He's right there with you?" (p. xvii - xviii)

To be honest, not all my answers to these questions were the ones I wanted to give, but they were honest answers. Numbers 7 and 9 really hit hard because I remember a time when it was like that with God and me ... but something happened apparently that changed that. I want that back! :)

Dr. Crabb talks in this invitation about the rush of life and how, through that busyness, you try to include some sort of relationship with God but you really don't have energy "to worry about the quality of your relationship with God." (p. xviii) Our priorities are mixed up and we begin to see God as some sort of glorified Santa Claus or vending machine in the sky.  But, he says, because you've picked up this book, you realize there should be something more, something deeper. And there's a voice deep inside trying to get out, crying for a relationship with God. And, at least for me, as I've mentioned on more than a few occasions now, this is both exciting/thrilling and terrifying! As I write this, a Piano Guys CD is playing on my stereo and the song currently playing is the perfect soundtrack to that mix of emotions. :) Listen for yourselves to see/hear what I mean:

Here's one more quote from the invitation to pray that so well echoes what is on my heart!

"What I want most is Him. I want to know Him, trust Him, hear His voice, and experience His power to live the way He tells me to, whether things go my way or not." (p. xix)

Do you want to know Him intimately, in this so complete way, to be completely vulnerable with Him and, at the same time, so empowered by Him? Pick up The PAPA Prayer and journey along with me! :)

The other posts I have written, and will write, in this series can be found at the launch page, here.

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