Monday, September 18, 2006

God Botherers

Too much of our praying is ineffectual God-bothering. We act as if God is ignorant of our lives and has to be reminded of the God-tasks that need to be done:
“Lord – give me…”
"God – please bless….”
"Lord – bring peace to ….”
As if God is unaware of the human need!

Of course God hears the cry of the broken hearted, and the groan of the oppressed. But these cries for help can never be instructions to a forgetful God. If God is not aware of the things we need, or if God does not know about injustice and pain that need God-like intervention, then this is a distracted and inattentive deity. For God to be God, the Divine Spirit should be aware of everything we need before we speak the words.

Which brings us closer to what prayer should be. Prayer is the moment of our silencing; it is the moment of the intervention of the Divine into our brokenness and need; it is the place of silence where the Spirit engages our spirit. Anything else is God-bothering.

And in our silence is the possibility of hearing the promptings of the Divine. Here is space for the One who fills all space to engage our lives. And here is opportunity for us to respond to the call of the Other. Good prayer is when we get off our knees to offer service to other people.

I have just spent a week in prayer: some of which was my own cry for attention. And then there were those rare moments in the silence where I discovered the Divine whisper. A nudge to become more intentional about my passions. So look to this blogspace to see signs of me shedding my middle-aged disengaged cynicism, and retrieving some of my former radicalism.

No comments: