Friday, October 31, 2008

Prayer is Answering Speech

As the 40 Days of ExtraOrdinary Prayer concludes this coming week, here's a brief meditation on prayer from a book I've just begun reading.

Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles

We want life on our conditions, not on God’s conditions. Praying puts us at risk of getting involved in God’s conditions. Be slow to pray. Praying most often doesn’t get us what we want but what God wants, something quite at variance with what we conceive to be in our best interests. And when we realize what is going on, it is often too late to go back. Be slow to pray (44).

. . . prayer is never the first word; it is always the second word. God has the primary word. Prayer is answering speech; it is not primarily “address” but “response.” . . . Prayer is answering speech. The first word is God’s word. Prayer is a human word and is never the first word, never the primary word, never the initiating and shaping word simply because we are never first, never primary (45-47).

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