This Mystery of Prayer

That prayer exists at all is a gift of grace, a generous invitation to participate in the future of the cosmos.
–Philip Yancey: Prayer

I have to admit submerging myself into the theology of prayer for these past couple of moths has caused a bit of a prayer awakening for me. I have always struggled with some of the “logical” aspects of prayer. Why are some prayers answered an others ignored. Is it really all about faith or is there something more? As I have wrestled with these ideas a truth that I have always known has been pushed to the forefront of my mind again and again. Most of our prayer time shouldn’t be about asking for stuff. Most of our prayer time should be about connecting with God. The very prayer itself should be the goal, not the answer.

When I am talking to my wife I am not constantly thinking about what I can get from this conversation. I am interacting with her, debriefing my day with her, learning about the struggles and victories of her day. That is the whole goal. The conversation is the focus, not that both of us will have more knowledge or that she will do something for me because I talked to her.

Prayer is just such a profound mystery and we are privileged beyond comprehension simply because we are invited to pray. God invites us to have a part in the universe. He invites us to commune with him. 

I have to say that the more I learn about prayer the less I understand and the more my eyes are opened to how amazing it really is. That we are invited to pray at all is a miracle. I am getting caught up in the mystery and as I am I am loving prayer more than ever before. Maybe it is because I have stopped trying to understand prayer and have started instead focusing on the God to whom I am praying.  

One thought on “This Mystery of Prayer

  • September 25, 2007 at 4:05 PM

    I really like the way you compare prayer to a conversation.

    I would like to comment that I don’t think prayers are ever ignored. Sometimes the answer is "no." Maybe what we are asking for isn’t what is best for us, or will adversely affect something else that we can’t see. In this way, God is very much like a parent. Accepting that the answer is no is never easy, but sometimes that is the way it has to be whether we understand or not.


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