Where you can read the relatively rational ramblings of a silly half-monkey, half-boy. This freak of nature is named Joel. He also responds to the name 'Bart Wang'.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Prayer as a form of co-operation with God

I read this on an insert in the bulletin from church and liked it a lot. It is both challenging and inspiring. I am the first to acknowledge that I suck at prayer. I don't spend enough time praying, I am easily distracted and likely bore God with lame prayers because I don't treat it as a real experience of communing/hanging out with God. This makes me want to be better. This was taken from a book called The Meaning Of Prayer by Harry Emerson Fosdick (1962).

"The experience of life is clear that some things God chooses not to do until he finds a person who prays. Indeed, Meister Eckhart, the mystic puts the truth with extreme boldness: 'God can do as little without us, as we without him.' If at first this seems a wild statement, we may well consider in how many ways God's will depends on human co-operation. God himself chooses not to do some things unless humans think. He never blazons the truth on the sky that humans may find it without thinking. Only when people gird the loins of their minds and undiscourageably give themselves to intellectual toil, will God reveal to them the truth, even about the physical world. And God himself chooses not to do some things unless people work. Will a person say that when God wants bridges and tunnels, wants the lightning harnessed and cathedrals built, he will do the work himself? That is an absurd and idle fatalism. Recall the words of Stradivarius, maker of violins, as George Eliot interprets him:

'When any master holds 'twixt chin and hand a violin of mine, he will be glad that Stradivari lived, made violins, and made them of the best... For while God gives them skill, I give them instruments to play upon, God choosing me to help him... If my hand slacked I should rob God - since he is the fullest good - leaving a blank instead of violins... He could not make Antonio Stradivari's violins without Antonio.'

Now if God has left some things contingent on humanity's thinking and working, why may have he not left some things contingent on our praying? The testimony of the great souls is a clear affirmative to this: some things never without thinking; some things never without working; some things never without praying! Prayer is one of the three forms of humanity's co-operation with God."


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