Prayer is relationship rather than request
One thing I have spoken of over and over in my blogs is that God is real even though we do not have the capacity to know God as we might know another person; that this real God seeks relationship with us who seek a relationship with God. Recall that within every human being there is a hole deep down in our souls searching to connect with this God we know exists. Relationship between wherever God is and wherever you and I may be is universal. It just takes different forms in each person.
Prayer is crucial to this relationship. Many think prayer is something only religious people do predominantly in Church. NO! For many people, prayer is asking God to do something for us; telling God what we need and what we want God to do. It could be to keep us safe, keep us well, may we have enough to live nicely, be happy and secure. While it is certainly OK to express where we are in our life to God who wants to know, you will miss something about prayer if you just leave it there.
Prayer is about relationship. About opening and being open. About being quiet in your head and just listening with the heart rather than the head. It is about entering the deepest relationship of your life and one that will walk with you no matter what happens to you. But like any relationship, you have to work at it.
In your personal relationships you have friends. What makes a friendship happen is relationship and relationships happen when we spend time together and talk. Relationships happen because there is an opening up of ourselves to another. We listen and are listened to. I call it “connect.” “Connect” happens when two people put out their empty hearts and hold each other.
That is what happens in prayer. We are held by the God we want to hold. It is all about approaching one another because there is a desire and the door is open.
Stay tuned for more.
One of the great Christian Mystics spoke something that blows my mind every time I think about it.He said that each person is created by God piece by piece; like putting together a puzzle. In a way, upon self-reflection it does seem like as persons we have many “pieces” which, when they all work together, make for a good time.
He went on to say this which is what blows my mind: Yes, God put the pieces of the puzzle called you together but God kept one piece so that we will forever seek to find it. Call it the “God piece”.
As a result, there is a deep hole inside all of us and God holds the piece which we know we lack. I have personally come to the conclusion that the search for God, the missing piece, to fill the hole inside, is universal. It does not matter what God you worship or whether you believe at all — but within each of us there is an emptiness.
We try to fill it in all sorts of ways. We try to answer the deep human search to be whole — to “connect” with God by making, to fill the hole, by making our own gods (small “g”). You know who the gods are that you have created; that are easier to see and thereby connect with. We all do it. It is because of this piece we desperately seek. We make our own gods and worship them. Or we act in such a way that we hint to others “please tell me how great I am. Then I will have arrived. No more hole inside. Search over.”
There are times I wish this were personally true.
Before we can get what GRACE is all about, we must explore some things first.
Have you ever wandered off course?
I used to skipper sail boats when I was young. It is so easy to know where you are supposed to go — to be headed in the “right direction” — but over time, unknown to you, you begin to wander off the course you had set. This happens because I lose my attention to what I know I must do. To “wander off” means to know what’s what and where you need to go, but you don’t do it. Then all of a sudden you wake up to the reality you are not where you want to be. But here is the point. While you wander away from the course, there is really nothing that speaks to you and says “Whoa. You are wandering off course.”
OK. As humans with the ability to step aside and look at ourselves and where we are, we often say, “that is what I must be” or “That is what I need to make me happy.” or “that is the path I must follow.” These change from time to time as we experience life. But what happens is that we wander towards those things as if we belong to them; as if they rule our lives.
We wander away from the path toward the God we hunger relationship with towards those gods we make that are easier to see and therefore make us feel good and proud. We bow before them, if you will. Because they work. Or so we think. Before you know it, that deep down hunger seems to disappear. Seems! To disappear.
No. It has just gone underground. We ease God out of our lives bit by bit; self-made god by self-made god. Before you know it, we have wandered far from the path we know we need to be on.
It is very easy to get very lost.