Prayer in Our Story

 

Prayer in Our Story

Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in His presence. — Colossians 1:22, The Message

Everyone’s life is [filled with] conflict and failure and fear, love and betrayal, loss and salvation. Every day is a story, a morning beginning and evening ending that are boundaries for people who go about their tasks with more or less purpose, go to war, make love, earn a living, scheme and sin and believe. Everything is connected. Meaning is everywhere. The days add up to a life that is a story…

All prayer is prayed in a story, by someone who is in the story…

Prayers are prayed by people who live stories.

~ Answering God

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True Listening

I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be My people. — 2 Corinthians 6:14, The Message

Persons in love often describe… their new relationship in some such words as, “for the first time in my life I can say everything I feel and think.” This is not because they have added new words to their vocabulary or because they have taken speech lessons. It is because they have met someone who listens.

True speaking is made possible when there is true listening.

What good are words without a listener? God listens. Everything we say, every groan, every murmur, every stammering attempt at prayer: all this is listened to.

We are listened to. We realize dignity… We acquire hope.

~ Reversed Thunder

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Paying Attention

When you come before God… find a quiet, secluded place. — Matthew 6:5-6, The Message

It takes time to develop a life of prayer: set-aside, disciplined, deliberate time. It isn’t accomplished on the run. I know I can’t be busy and pray at the same time. I can be active and pray; but I cannot be busy and pray. I cannot be inwardly rushed, distracted, or dispersed.

In order to pray I have to be paying more attention to God than to what people are saying to me, to God than to my clamoring ego. Usually, for that to happen there must be a deliberate withdrawal from the noise of the day, a disciplined detachment from the insatiable self.

~ The Contemplative Pastor

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The Reason for Prayer

Let my cry come right into your presence, God. — Psalm 119:170, The Message

The Psalms were not prayed by people trying to understand themselves. They are not the record of people searching for the meaning of life. They were prayed by people who understood that God had everything to do with them. God, not their feelings, was the center. God, not their souls, was the issue. God, not the meaning of life, was critical.

Feelings, souls, and meanings were not excluded — they are very much in evidence—but they are not the reason for the prayers. Human experiences might provoke the prayers, but they do not condition them as prayers.

~ Answering God

Excerpted with permission from God’s Message for Each Day by Eugene Peterson, copyright Eugene H. Peterson.

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Your Turn

Prayer, along with the joys and sorrows of life, is part of the story of Jesus-followers. It’s where we’re most deeply heard, most understood, and where we can commune with God on the level of those who are deeply in love! Come share your thoughts about prayer on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Eugene Peterson

Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message Bible (17 million sold), authored more than 30 books, including the spiritual classics A Long Obedience in the Same Direction and Run with the Horses. He earned his BA in Philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his STB from New York Theological Seminary, and his MA in Semitic Languages from John Hopkins University. He also held several honorary doctoral degrees. In 1962, Peterson was founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Bel Air, Maryland, where he and his wife, Jan, served for 29 years before retiring in 1991. Peterson held the title of professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, British Columbia, from 1998 until his death in 2018.

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