Friday, May 06, 2005

Prayer II

Before I got distracted trying to discern my understandings of God, I was writing on prayer.

At the moment, my understanding of the meaning/purpose of prayer is two-fold.

The first is simply divine intervention/revelation/inspiration. I do believe in an external, supernatural God, and as such believe that that God is able to work in and influence our world in ways that we totally don't understand. I have experienced that in my life, and seen it in the lives of others, and despite how little I know about how that interaction actually works, I believe in it.

The second centres around more contemplative, meditative approaches to prayer-which I've totally been getting into heaps more lately. This comes from a couple of sources, one is the Biblical idea that we are all made in the image of God, and can have that Spirit of the Risen Christ within all of us. The other is Jesus' ideas about the kingdom of God being revealed within us all. I believe God lives in all of us, if only we are open to being still and listening. That understanding of prayer is one I'm still shaping, and is far from complete.

Despite this style of prayer being deeply rooted within the Christian tradition, I believe it has resemblances to the more Buddhist concepts of meditation, from which I believe Christians can learn a lot in terms of stillness and centreing ourselves. I'm not prepared to say that all prayer, whichever faith its expressed through, is the same, because its not. But I do believe there is a lot more room for dialogue on the concept of prayer than has traditionally been found in many churches.

Anyways, thats my thoughts on prayer at the moment, hopefully they'll come together soon :)

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