I finished Yancey’s book, Prayer: Does it make any difference? what a blessing!
P 303 ” God is looking for a beachhead of presence in the world–a body, we might say, and indeed that is the very image Paul seizes upon in his letters. We the “body of Christ,” have formed a partnership to dispense God’s love and grace to others. As we experience that grace, inevitably we want to share it with others….This way of viewing the world changes how I pray for others. Crudely put, I once envisioned intercession as bringing requests to God that God may not have thought of, then talking God into granting them. Now I see intercession as an increase in my own awareness. When I pray for another person, I am praying for God to open my eyes so that I can see that person as God does, and then enter into the stream of love that God already directs toward that person.”
P 326-327 “I pray in astonished belief that God desires an ongoing relationship. I pray in trust that the act of prayer is God’s designated way of closing the vast gulf between infinity and me. I pray in order to put myself in the stream of God’s healing work on earth. I pray as I breathe because I can’t help it. Prayer is hardly a perfect form of communication, for I, an imperfect material being who lives on an imperfect, material planet am reaching out for a perfect, spiritual Being.”
Now I am reading Henri Nouwen, The Genesee Diary
I can so relate to some of Nouwen’s issues that he faced when he decided to join a Trappist Monastery for a period of time. Funny how being alone with one’s self can pull out so many issues that we think are solved. I have been reading this alongside Yancey’s book because Yancey’s book is not one that you can rapidly read. Neither is Nouwen’s book, but it is nice to have a break from one to the other.
Today I was reading his commentary on love – how the love of the fellow monks brought up so many insecurities and issues about love. Love still does scare me a bit, although I am learning more of the love of God as I continue to read and study His Word.
This paragraph stopped me in my tracks today.
P. 88 “Still, I am deeply convinced that when I allow God to enter into my loneliness, when I allow him to let me know that I am loved far more deeply than I can imagine, only then can I give and receive real friendship and write letters free from seductive motivations. When I can say with Paul, “not I live, but Christ lives in me,” then I no longer need to depend on the attention of others to have a sense of self. Because then I realize that my most important identity is the identity I have received as a grace of God and which has made me a participant in the divine life of God himself.”
Sigh, I still operate a lot by what others think and feel about me, and take my focus off of God. There is still a lot of insecurity based on my past. I grew up trying to be a wallflower, to blend in with what others wanted and lost myself in the process. God has been showing me His love, and that is helping. Right now though, other’s thoughts and ideas can still cause me to hurt. I have to learn to trust God more, and rest in His love.
Hoping you have a blessed day.
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