Personal studies

Saturday, January 20, 2007
Currently Reading
Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?
By Philip Yancey
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If you haven’t read Pastor Don’s Bible study from Wednesday, I highly recommend it. Friday’s Bible study was from a question. I will type the notes on that another day, but today I want to share a few quotes from Phillip Yancey’s book, Prayer: Does it make a difference? They impacted me so much that I thought you would be blessed as well.

P.21-22 “Prayer helps correct myopia, calling to mind a perspective I daily forget. I keep reversing roles, thinking of ways in which God should serve me, rather than vice versa. As God fiercely reminded Job, the Lord of the universe has many things to manage, and in the midst of my self-pity I would do well to contemplate for a moment God’s own point of view.”

P. 26 “Prayer allows me to admit my failures, weaknesses, and limitations to One who responds to human vulnerability with infinite mercy.”

P. 30 “Sometimes I wonder if the words I use are the least important part of prayer. Who am I? And who is God? If I can answer those two questions, the words I pray recede. Prayer invites me to lower defenses and present the self that no other person fully knows to a God who already knows.”

P. 40 “I challenge skeptics to find a single argument used against God by the great agnostics –Voltaire, David Hume, Bertrand Russell—that is not already included in such biblical books as Habakkuk, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and, yes, Job. ….Most important, these accusations contained in the Bible itself are framed as prayers. Prayer allows a place for me to bring my doubts and complaints–in sum, my ignorance–and subject them to the blinding light of reality I cannot comprehend but can haltingly learn to trust. Prayer is personal, and my doubts take on a different cast as I get to know the Person to whom I bring them.”

P. 51 “Prayer is a subversive act performed in a world that constantly calls faith into question.”

P. 51 “I have learned to see prayer not as my way of establishing God’s presence, rather as my way of responding to God’s presence that is a fact whether or not I can detect it.”

P. 62 “The psalms express all levels of friendship with God.”

P. 80 “Jesus clung to prayer as to a lifeline, for it gave him both the guidance and the energy to know and do the Father’s will.

P. 85 “Words fail to capture the enormity of descent when a sovereign God takes up residence in a person and says, in effect, “Don’t hurt me. Don’t push me away.”

P. 86 “For most of us prayer serves as a resource to help in time of testing or conflict. For Jesus, it was the battle itself.”

P. 97 “Like Abraham, I approach God at first in fear and trembling, only to learn that God wants me to stop groveling and start arguing.. I dare not meekly accept the state of the world, with all its injustice and unfairness. I must call God to account for God’s own promises, God’s own character.”

P. 101 “Yet virtually everyone God picked to lead a new venture–Adam, Abraham, Moses, David—proved disappointing in part. Apparently God committed to work with human partners no matter how inept.”

P. 130 “The message is clear,” comments Walter Wink about that scene, “history belongs to the intercessors, who believe the future into being.” The pray-ers are essential agents in the final victory over evil, suffering, and death.

This book is a blessing! It is not one you can speed read, but it is full of gems.

Hoping you have a blessed Sunday.



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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