Saturday, December 30, 2006

Philip Yancy Prayer...Does it make a difference?

I was reading a Prof's facebook this evening. His name is Scott Duvall. A+ man and professor.

He had listed yancy prayers on his facebook and all are very powerful out of Yancy's book. I thought i would post them.

All of these are direct quotes from Yancy. If you have never read yancy check out his new book.

Prayer #1
"If prayer stands at the place where God and human beings meet, then I must learn about prayer. Most of my struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two themes: why God doesn't act the way we want God to, and why I don't act the way God wants me to. Prayer is the precise point where those themes converge." (17)

Prayer #2
"Prayer helps correct myopia, calling to mind a perspective I daily forget. I keep reversing roles, thinking of ways in which God should serve me, rather than vice versa.... Prayer raises my sight beyond the petty ... I realize my tininess and God's vastness, and the true relation of the two. In God's presence I feel small because I am small." (21-22)

Prayer #3
"Be still and know that I am God. I read in this familiar verse from Psalms [46:10] two commands of equal importance. First, I must be still, something that modern life conspires against. ... Mystery, awareness of another world, an emphasis on being rather than doing, even a few moments of quiet do not come naturally to me in this hectic, buzzing world. I must carve out time and allow God to nourish my inner life. ... Fundamentally [prayer] is a position, a placement of oneself [from Patricia Hampl]. ... The Latin imperative for 'be still' is vacate. As Simon Tugwell explains, 'God invites us to take a holiday [vacation], to stop being God for a while, and let him be God.'" (24-26)

Prayer #4
" ... prayer was the main reminder of a reality contradicted by all surroundings. A channel of faith, it served to restore the truth belied by everything around them. For us, too, prayer can be that channel. We live on a broken planet, fallen far from God's original intent. It takes effort to remember who we are, God's creation, and faith to imagine what we someday will be, God's triumph. ... [Prayer] has become for me much more than a shopping list of requests to present to God. It has become a realignment of everything. I pray to restore the truth of the universe, to gain a glimpse of the world, and of me, through the eyes of God." (29)

Prayer #5
"Truth hurts. Yet I cannot receive healing unless I accept God's diagnosis of my wounded state. God already knows who we are; we are the ones who must find a way to come to terms with our true selves. Psalm 139 cries out, 'Search me, O God. ...' Whenever I get depressed by a lack of spiritual progress, I realize that my very dismay is a sign of progress." (32)

Prayer #6
"Norweigian theologian Ole Hallesby ... adds 'Only he who is helpless can truly pray.' I never outgrow dependence , and to the extent I think I do, I delude myself. Asking for help lies at the root of prayer ... Prayer is a delcaration of dependence upon God. ... the very very weakness that drives us to pray becomes an invitation for God to respond with compassion and power [Ps. 145:14]." (34-36)

Prayer #7
"In truth, what I think and feel as I pray, rather than the words I speak may be the real prayer, for God 'hears' that too. My every thought occurs in God's presence. ... And as I learn to give voice to those secrets, mysteriously the power they hold over me melts away. ... Unless I level with God--about bitterness over an unanswered prayer, grief over a loss, guilt over an unforgiving spirit, a baffling sense of God's absence--that relationship, too, will go nowhere. 'We must lay before Him what is in us, now what ought to be in us,' wrote C. S. Lewis. To put it another way, we must trust God with what God already knows." (41-42)

Prayer #8
"I often worry about whether or not I sense the presence of God. I give little thought to whether God senses the presence of me. When I come to God in prayer, do I bare the deepest, most hidden parts of myself? ... Prayer invites me to bring my whole life into God's presence for cleansing and restoration. Self-exposure is never easy, but when I do it I learn that underneath the layers of grime lies a damaged work of art that God longs to repair." (42)

Prayer #9
"I realize that my image of God, more than anything else, determines my degree of honesty in prayer. Do I trust God with my naked self? Foolishly, I hide myself in fear that God will be displeased, though in fact the hiding may be what displeases God most. From my side, what seems like self-protection; from God's side it looks like a lack of trust. In either case, the wall will keep us apart until I acknowledge my need and God's surpassing desire to meet it. When I finally approach God, in fear and trembling, I find not a tyrant but a lover. ... The most important purpose of prayer may be to let our true selves be loved by God." (44)
Prayer #10
"Prayer is a subversive act performed in a world that constantly calls faith into question. ... I have learned to see prayer not as my way of establishing God's presence, rather as my way of responding to God's presence that is a fact whether or not I can detect it." (51)

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