Saturday, 4 August 2012

Eugene Peterson on prayer 1

“We try to figure out prayer too much…When people would come to me and say, ‘Teach me how to pray,’ what I usually would say is, ‘Meet me at 11 o’clock Sunday morning.’ You want to learn how to pray, you join the people of prayer. Join the community of prayer…Don’t try to make anything happen, don’t try to make anything happen. Just be there. And be there the next Sunday and the next Sunday. This is the laboratory of prayer.

“The Psalms, you realize, are all common prayers. Congregational prayers. They might have started out with just one person praying, but very soon they got into the common life of Israel. This privatization of prayer is a huge mistake. It puts too much of a burden on you. It robs you of the reality of the community of heaven. One of the greatest books of the Bible about prayer is Revelation. It’s all about common prayer…I think it’s at least two thirds of Revelation is about worship. It’s all about what you do when you get together with God’s people.

“This takes a great burden off of you. ‘Why am I so terrible at prayer?’ Well, maybe you are, but your friends are not….[This common outlook] of prayer is essential if we’re going to have a robust prayer life."

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