4th December 2010

    On Prayer                                  

    by Norman Walford        

    I think I've got writer's block.

    What I mean is, I've been meaning to start on a series of blogs/short comments
    for a few months now and I've just been unable to get started. There's a voice in
    my head that keeps saying, "Norman, the first one has to be a real blockbuster!
    After that you can get away with a bit more (or less) but the fist one has to set a
    high tone."

    Complete rubbish of course, but these voices can be very persuasive, paralytic
    even. So tonight I start, and whatever I write goes straight on to the site, good or
    bad. In fact I'll go to the other extreme and start with something small, just to get
    under way—I’ll share a little insight I had about prayer, which was helpful to me,
    at least.

    Like most people I struggle a bit with prayer. Can't get started—Put it off—
    Attention straying—all  the usual stuff. But I had an insight that was helpful to me
    which was:

    Prayer is the purpose of life.

    Why so?
    Well I think we've mostly come to understanding by now (in our heads at least if
    not any deeper) that Christianity is not actually (or primarily) about doing things.
    It's primarily about being in communion with God—that is, being in communication
    with him. That's what heaven is—unbroken fellowship, communion with God,
    forever. *
    That's what we were made for—talking, fellowship with God.

    Bringing it down from heaven to the here and now, if we were made for
    communion with God up there, then presumably we were made for communion
    with God down here also. And how do we do that? Communion with God—talking
    with God—we call it prayer.
    So there we have it—prayer is the purpose of life.

    What this means is that when I get anxious—and I do that a lot, particularly about
    things like,
  • Am I living a meaningful life?
  • Or am I completely wasting the precious and short time that God has given
  • Am I fulfilling my purpose, maximizing my talents etc. etc.
    Then there's a simple solution—I start talking to God. And then I can say, I'm
    talking to God, so in that I'm doing what I've been created for, I'm fulfilling my
    ultimate purpose. And then the worry is gone. There's nothing left to worry about.
    When you're doing what you were created to do, there's just no room for anxiety—
    nothing to be worried about.

    Now, since I've been worrying no end about writing this little piece I'm going to
    follow my own advice and go and do just that.
    Try it - it really works!

    * I’ve borrowed this from the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to
    enjoy him forever.”

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