On Prayer and Praying--Petitionary Prayer


Life is made much simpler when other bloggers say what you would eventually get around to. The Blogmaster of Disputations has posted a remarkable little note on prayer as talking with God.

It seems we most often go wrong with prayer when we make it a lengthy list of petitions and pious meanderings through the wide fields of our daily concerns. These are legitimate topics for prayer time but they are not the sole purpose of prayer. There are times when we must share those things that burden us so that God can help us, so we utter our petitions. But we should make a space around our petitions to hear what God has to say back to us. Thus, if we have long lists of concerns and people for whom to pray, we should write everyone of them down, and offer God the entire list. And then, as we are moved to do so, talk with God about them--not monopolizing the conversation as it were with one petition after another, but taking those things that lay heavy on our hearts and offering them to God. Speaking the depth of our concern and then pausing, ending our portion of the conversation and assumng an attitude of listening.

I find petitions work quite well with Lectio. By that I mean that one spends some time listening to what God has to say. Hearing the word may in the course of events bring to mind certain concerns that then express, and we can return to the word to listen again. More on the ancient practice of lectio in another post.

But petitions must not merely be uttered, they must be offered and they must be the subject of deep conversation with God. Try to give them time and to hear what God has to say about them. You'll be surprised at what a fulfilling experience merely mentioning someone's name may be.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 27, 2003 7:10 AM.

Courtesy of Mr. Dhingra was the previous entry in this blog.

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