Between Heaven and Earth, Page 2 - What Is Prayer?

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by LittleBluestem, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Page one of the original “Between Heaven and Earth” thread is full. I learned this by adding to it. When it went to the second page, I deleted it. That is why it is near the top with nothing new.

    I don’t like scrolling down and clicking to a second page, so I have started a new thread. I will continue to put quotes from the book here. Anyone else can add anything that they would like to share.

    The following is a continuation of quotations from Part One: WHAT IS PRAYER? of Between Heaven and Earth compiled and edited by Ken Gire.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/20/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/10/2006]
  2. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    <B>E. M. Bounds</B>

    “I tell the Lord my troubles and difficulties, and wait for Him to give me the answers to them,” said one man of God. “And it is wonderful how a matter that looked very dark will in prayer become clear as crystal by the help of God’s spirit.

    I think Christians fail so often to get answers to their prayers because they do not wait long enough on God. They just drop down and say a few words, and then jump up and forget it and expect God to answer them. Such praying always reminds me of the small boy ringing his neighbor’s door bell, and then running away as fast as he can go.”
  3. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    <B>E. M. Bounds</B>

    To go through the motion of praying is a dull business, though not a hard one. To say prayers in a decent, delicate way is not heavy work.

    But to pray really, to pray till hell feels the ponderous stroke, to pray till the iron gates of difficulties are opened, till the mountains of obstacles are removed, till the mists are exhaled and the clouds are lifted, and the sunshine of a cloudless day brightens - this is hard work, but it is God’s work and man’s best labor.

    Never was the toil of hand, head and heart less spent in vain than when praying. It is hard to wait and press and pray, and hear no voice, but stay till God answers.
  4. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    These E.M Bounds I find to be very challenging and inspiring! A very bold view.

  5. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Here is the last of the E. M. Bounds that I have.

    E. M. Bounds

    The closet is not an asylum for the indolent and worthless Christian. It is not a nursery where none but babes belong.

    It is the battlefield of the Church; its citadel; the scene of heroic and unearthly conflict. The closet is the base of supplies for the Christian and the Church. Cut off from it there is nothing left but retreat and disaster.

    The energy for work, the mastery over self, the deliverance from fear, all spiritual results and graces, are much advanced by prayer. The difference between the strength, the experience, the holiness of Christians is found in the contrast in their praying.
  6. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Today I am going to stray from the book. I received this prayer in an e-mail. I am not a Catholic, so don’t get into Saints, but I think this prayer is relevant to any person of faith.

    <U>St. Theresa's Prayer</U>

    May today there be peace within.
    May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
    May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
    May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
    May you be content knowing you are a child of God....
    Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
    It is there for each and everyone of us.
  7. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Howard Macy, Rhythms of the Inner Life

    Prayer has less to do with getting things than with knowing God. It is more concerned with loving God that with lists of prayer requests. Asking for assistance and knowing God are related, of course, but coming into intimacy with the Holy One is the principal purpose and context of prayer.
  8. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Howard Macy, Rhythms of the Inner Life

    Talking to God personally differs entirely from trying to put the Almighty under our thumbs with prayers born of magic and ritual. Yet many people, ancient and modern, have treated prayer more as incantation than dialogue.

    ... Israel herself fell into this trap at times, but was sharply rebuked for presuming that God is more interested in formal phrases, fasts and festivals than in loyal love toward God and neighbor. ... Israel, at her best, knew that prayer is not manipulation and hocus-pocus.

    Modern Christians, at their best, know that too, but practices of prayer akin to magic persist widely in the Christian movement. For example, some pray as if they will be heard the better for their flowery language or impassioned style. Others insist that certain postures, patterns, and phrases must be used if prayer is to be effective.

    Still others presume on grace, thinking that by “laying claim” to “promises” they find in Scripture, they put God under obligation to do as they ask. In such sub-Christian and unbiblical expressions of prayer, what once may have been vital has degenerated into idle form. Biblical prayer is personal, not magical; dialogue, not demand.
  9. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    <B>Billy Graham</B>

    Praying is simply a two-way conversation between you and God. It is not the body’s posture but the heart’s attitude that counts when we pray. Prayer is not our using of God; it more often puts us in a position where God can use us.
  10. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

    (1874-1917) Scottish minister who was converted to Christianity through the preaching of Charles Spurgeon. Best known as a devotional writer.

    When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/06/2006]
  11. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    W. Bingham Hunter, The God Who Hears

    Faith is not a magical force which has direct action on the creation. People, from the biblical viewpoint, are not healed by faith, they are healed by God. Prayer, contrary to almost everything written about it, is not the most powerful force in the universe. God is. ...

    More has been wrought by God in response to faith expressed through prayer than this world imagines. The point is not just a matter of semantics or an example of theological hair-splitting. It concerns a common and fundamentally mistaken conception about what prayer is and the role faith plays in it.
  12. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Eddie Askew, A Silence and a Shouting

    There is a description of prayer that is more of a poem and meditation than anything else. Here it is:

    The important thing about prayer is that it is almost indefinable. You see, it is: hard and sharp, soft and loving, deep and inexpressible, shallow and repetitious, a groaning and a sighing.

    A silence and a shouting, a burst of praise digging deep down into loneliness, into me. Loving. Abandonment to despair, a soaring to heights which can be only ecstasy, dull plodding in the grayness of mediocre being -- laziness, boredom, resentment.

    Questing and questioning, calm reflection, meditation, cogitation. A surprise at sudden joy, a shaft of light, a laser beam. Irritation at not understanding, impatience, pain of mind and body hardly uttered or deeply anguished.

    Being together, the stirring of love shallow, then deeper, then deepest. A breathless involvement, a meeting, a longing, a loving, an inpouring. ...

    It sounds exciting, put like that.
    It sounds real. An exploration.
    A chance to do more than catalogue
    and list the things I want,
    to an eternal Father Christmas.

    The chance of meeting you,
    of drawing close to the love that made me,
    and keeps me, and knows me.
    And, Lord, it’s only just begun.
    There is so much more of you,
    of love, the limitless expanse of knowing you.
    I could be frightened, Lord, in this wide country.
    It could be lonely, but you are here, with me.

    The chance of learning about myself,
    of facing up to what I am.
    Admitting my resentments,
    bringing my anger to you, my disappointments, my frustration.
    And finding that when I do,
    when I stop struggling and shouting
    and let go
    you are still there.
    Still loving.

    Sometimes, Lord, often -
    I don’t know what to say to you.
    But I still come, in quiet
    for the comfort of two friends
    sitting in silence.
    And it’s then, Lord, that I learn most from you.
    When my mind slows down,
    and my heart stops racing.
    When I let go and wait in the quiet,
    realizing that all the things I was going to ask for
    you know already.
    Then, Lord, without words,
    in the stillness
    you are there. ..
    And I love you.

    Lord, teach me to pray.
  13. sharoses

    sharoses New Member

    so much for all you have shared here. It has inspired and convicted me to pray more and hopefully more effectively. I do agree that it's all about HIM and not about us...who He is ..not what we's about relationship and intimacy with Him. thanks
  14. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Howard Macy, Rhythms of the Inner Life

    As William Penn counsels, “Do not think to overcome the Almighty by the best material put in the aptest phrase. No. One groan, one sigh from a wounded soul, excels and prevails with God.”

    The sublimest prayers of all must not blind us to the fact that real prayer is simple.

  15. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
    (1686-1761) Puritan devotional writer.

    Prayer is the nearest approach to God, and the highest enjoyment of Him, that we are capable of in this life.

    It is the noblest exercise of the soul, the most exalted use of our best faculties, and the highest imitation of the blessed inhabitants of Heaven.
  16. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    I'm so glad that you're keeping this thread going! It fills me up, and inspires me to pray more. Like filling up an empty well.

    Thank you for this wonderful contribution for all of us!

    Love, Judy
  17. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    I intend to keep working my way through the book and posting selected quotations until I reach the end of the book or someone tells me to stop. I am finding it helpful to reread the book. It has been several years since I bought it. I am pleased to know that it is helpful to others, as well.
  18. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

    We think rightly or wrongly about prayer according to the conception we have in our minds of prayer. If we think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts, we think rightly. The blood flows ceaselessly, and breathing continues ceaselessly; we are not conscious of it, but it is always going on.

    We are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect joint with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life.
  19. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Tilden Edwards, Living in the Presence

    Authentic prayer is opening to Gods’ gracious presence with all that we are, with what Scripture summarizes as our whole heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22:37). Therefore prayer is more of a way of being than an isolated act of doing.
  20. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    I haven't read all of this yet, but i like the one from the 20th!

    about breath and blood, and the one from yesterday,
    Opening up to God with all we are, mind, body, spirit!

    I use to read my oswald devotional long ago, but packed it up when we moved, guess what, it's still packed!!

    I think it's time to go find it!!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/24/2006]