Some Thoughts on Prayer

Many of us have grown up thinking of prayer as a checklist of requests to God, like giving a grocery list to someone headed to the supermarket. As someone once said “I’m headed off to pray. – does anyone need anything?”

Shane Claiborne says in Common Prayer – A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals “A primary purpose of prayer is to impress on us the personality and character of Christ. We want to become like Jesus, so the life that we live is no longer ours but Christ living in us and through us.

Prayer is less about trying to get God to do something we want God to do and more about getting ourselves to do what God wants us to do and become who God wants us to become.”

It is my contention that the purpose of life is to seek a relationship with God and to work toward bringing about his kingdom.

Deuteronomy 4:29  (NIV) - But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Is our goal in life to become more Christ-like? For many of us in the high-paced, cluttered world of materialism and noise, silence is a way we can free up the space to listen to God; to simply sit silently in His presence and listen.

Eugene Peterson in Answering God says, “Prayers are not tools for doing or getting, but for being and becoming.”

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.- Therese of Lisieux


Mark Autterson

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