[Re]Understanding Prayer

5 Mar

One of the books I’m reading at the moment is [Re]Understanding Prayer by the late Kyle Lake. It’s a really refreshing book in which Kyle writes quite honestly about prayer, how it works, why we do it etc, and he also deconstructs the wrong ideas about prayer. I’ve copied an excerpt below which made me realize that my own form of prayer wasn’t as far off track as maybe some think! I’ve always struggled with having a disciplined prayer time with God, in some ways this is good, but at the same time I recognise that God is consistent, so maybe I should try harder to be as well. However I have always been someone who prays whilst I am doing things, like a conversation, after all , this is what prayer is, a conversation with God. Quite often I have received odd looks from fellow Christians when I have spoken about my prayer life. My own “quiet” time with God, where I sit down and try and listen to Him probably only happens three times or so a week. BUT, I do hear from God during these conversations I have with him at other times throughout the day.

“Luis of Granada, a sixteenth-century Christian spiritual writer, simply defined it as “any raising of the heart to God” Any raising of the heart to God …..

at school, before you eat, while you drive, in the locker room, at home, eyes open, eyes shut, before an exam, through the woods, feeding the dog, on the deck, walking to class, in the morning, before you sleep, wondering about the world, after the fight, looking for an answer, because you care, because you don’t care, flying across the ocean, on your knees, to erase or remember, when you’re happy, when you’re scared, when no one else hears, using ancient or new ideas, singing or screaming, writing a letter, in a journal, at the interview, with or without something to say, to get real, on the date, sacred or irreverent, help! help! help!, loud or soft, at work, floating or sinking, after you fail, after you suceed, hands folded or raised to the sky, with a friend, with your dad, for your friends, for your family, during the game, at the meet, to find Jesus, at the mountain-top, in the valley, when you feel alive, when you feel half-dead, under attack, or to attack, to reorganize, at the concert, for composure, to praise, to worship, to just listen, wherever, whenever, however …..

That’s prayer. Redefined. Or to be precise, historically defined. And my guess is that it’s already been going on in your life. It’s just that no one has ever said anything about it being legit, about it counting. So may I be the first to come along and tell you that the persistent, silent awareness of God that threads through your day, even at the most mundane times – on a bike, in a journal, at the movies, in a car – they all count. Not only do they count, but that fluid, seamless life with God you exhibit has actually been God’s hope all along.”

(Kyle Lake, [Re]Understanding Prayer (C) Relevant Books, 2005)

The book also looks at the use of “insider” spiritual jargon which becomes indoctrinated into us etc. Well worth the $$ if you have some spare at the moment.


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