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.
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