Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Praying Like a Kid

I've written enough about Paul Miller's A Praying Life that I decided to post a sample of it. This also flows out of Jeff's post yesterday concerning praying in a gospel-centered manner.

Throughout the book, Paul Miller speaks about praying like a child. These quotations are from pp.44-45, and he makes a point I'd never really considered before... namely, that Jesus was the supreme example of praying - and living - with childlike faith.

Whenever Jesus starts talking about his relationship with his heavenly Father, Jesus becomes childlike, very dependent. "The Son can do nothing of his own accord" (John 5:19). "I can do nothing on my own" (John 5:30). "I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me" (John 8:28). "The Father who sent me has himself given me...what to say and what to speak" (John 12:49). Only a child will say, "I only do what I see my Father is doing."

When Jesus tells us to become like little children, he isn't telling us to do anything he isn't already doing. Jesus is, without question, the most dependent human being who ever lived. Because Jesus can't do life on his own, he prays. And he prays. And he prays. ...

Imagine asking Jesus how he's doing. He'd say, "My Father and I are doing great. He has given me everything I need today." You respond, "I'm glad your Father is doing well, but let's just focus on you for a minute. Jesus, how are you doing?" Jesus would look at you strangely, as if you were speaking a foreign language. The question doesn't make sense. ... That's why contemplating the terror of the cross at Gethsemane was such an agony for Jesus. He had never experienced a moment when he wasn't in communion with his Father. Jesus' anguish is our normal."

Maybe I'll post a few more quotations soon, but for now lets ask ourselves the question Paul Miller is raising: Is my "prayer time" suffering because I'm living out of my own resources the rest of the day?

No comments: