Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Prayer: Nothing To Hide

Now I’ve said I’m not going to use Daily Thoughts as my kop out for blog entries and in a sense I’m not. What I am doing is offering a place to put down some extended thoughts on the initial daily thought that I release. Not a regular thing, but just a place for people who may have read the Daily Thought and are interested in exploring things a bit more.

However in the case of not having actually read the Daily Thought here it is.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8)

What’s the point in telling someone something they already know? A response to this could be that as they already know there’s no point in saying anything. Yet there is something valuable in a relationship in still being open and vulnerable in sharing what’s going on. It is encouraging to the recipient that you still want to open the issue and share it with them – inviting them to be a part of the conversation and in the case of the Father a part of the resolution of the situation. That’s why transparency and honesty in prayer is beneficial.

And here is the extended thought.

I mean what would it say about a conversation if we’re holding something back? We either don’t think it’s important or we’re too ashamed to talk about it or we feel capable of dealing with it ourselves. In the context of a conversation with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe that, in essence, could be reduced to negligence, fear/shame and pride – all things that are obstacles to healthy and effective relationship with God. Whereas in opening ourselves to involving God in our every day lives we’re in effect saying that even if we can do whatever ‘in our own strength’ we still acknowledge that even that comes from Him. Even if we can figure it out – that brain comes from Him. In living a life with transparent and open forms of communication we’re dedicating all of life to God, not just the bits that we struggle with.

Now does that mean we close our eyes solemnly and utter benedictions and doxologies to our most divine, heavenly, almighty source of all providence before opening the tin of beans, reading the newspaper, having a bath or other regular ‘mundane’ activities of life? Of course not – that would be absurd. (Although in the case of the beans there could be an argument to solicit divine protection for those who will suffer some of the gaseous aftermath of the consumption.) Prayer, however, as I’m suggesting, is an open channel of communication between God and ourselves – thus whether it’s a thought, a word uttered, a passing contemplation, all these can be our method of communicating with God on any and every given situation – hence the possibility of praying without ceasing.

So that’s why it makes sense that knowing our heavenly Father knows what we’re praying for, we might as well be open, transparent, vulnerable and considered in our prayer lives. Otherwise we’re like Adam and Eve in the garden, we want to cover up stuff out of shame, fear and pride, when we would be better off placing ourselves in His hand with everything – after all as a loving God that’s the kind of relationship He desires with us.

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