Teach Us To Pray - From Practice to Pleasure [Ryan Ashley]
“Prayer is simply the medium through which we experience and connect with God.”
1. God is your Father.
“Unless you break the stronghold of false images of God in your mind, you’ll never be drawn to prayer. The angels have been locked in a room with God for thousands of years and they still haven’t gotten past the word holy… holy - holy - holy… If you’re bored with God, you may be the person who is bring. Or it could be that you’re just t=distracted by trivia in our culture. When you break through that boredom, you’ll be drawn to the glory of who God really is.”
2. God is as close as the air up against your skin.
“God is the reality whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”
3. The primary goal of prayer is joyful, grateful, worshipful enjoyment of the Father’s company.
“To hallow God’s name is to have a heart of grateful joy toward God – and even more, a wondrous sense of his beauty. Consider how different this is from the normal way we use prayer… to get things. We may believe in God, but out deepest hopes and happiness reside in things as in how successful we are or in our social relationships. We therefore pray mainly when our career or finances are in trouble, or when some relationship or social status in in jeopardy.
When life is going smoothly, and our truest heart treasures seem safe, it does not occur to us to pray. Seldom or never do we spend sustained time adoring and praising God. We know God is there, but we tend to see him as a means through which we get things to make us happy. For most of us, he has not become our happiness.”
4. Your prayers really do make a difference.
“God’s “response” to our prayers is not a charade. He dies not pretend that he is answering our prayer when he is only doing what he was going to do anyway. Our requests really do make a difference in what God does or does not do. The idea that everything would happen exactly as it does regardless of whether we pray or not is a specter that haunts the minds of many who sincerely profess belief in God. It makes prayer psychologically impossible, replacing it with dead ritual at best. And of course God does not respond to this. You wouldn’t either.”
The Lord’s Prayer is not a liturgy to recite, as much as a template to follow.