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Buechner on Prayer

Today's Worship Quote comes from Frederick Buechner and deals with an aspect of prayer that is sometimes difficult to understand - for me, at least.

ON PRAYER
According to Jesus, by far the most important thing about praying is to keep at it. The images he uses to explain this are all rather comic, as though he thought it was rather comic to have to explain it at all. He says God is like a friend you go to borrow bread from at midnight. The friend tells you in effect to drop dead, but you go on knocking anyway until finally he gives you what you want so he can go back to bed again (Luke 11:5-8). Or God is like a crooked judge who refuses to hear the case of a certain poor widow, presumably because he knows there's nothing much in it or him. But she keeps on hounding him until finally he hears her case just to get her out of his hair (Luke 18:1-8). Even a stinker, Jesus says, won't give his own child a black eye when he asks for peanut butter and jelly, so how all the more will God when HIS children... (Matthew 7:9-11).

Be importunate, Jesus says-not, one assumes, because you have to beat a path to God's door before he'll open it, but because until you beat the path maybe there'll be no way of getting to YOUR door. 'Ravish my heart,' John Donne wrote. But God will not usually ravish. He will only court.

-Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner, ed. George Connor (New York City: Harper Collins, 1992).


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

I had to look up "importunate." The Random House Dictionary had some help for me. "adj.  1. urgent or persistent in solicitation.  2. pertinacious, as solicitations or demands.  3. troublesome, annoying." It sounds a bit like nagging, doesn't it? Keep praying!

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Chambers on Worship and Intercession

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is another from Oswald Chambers' devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest.

WORSHIP AND INTERCESSION
Worship and intercession must go together, the one is impossible without the other. Intercession means that we rouse ourselves up to get the mind of Christ about the one for whom we pray. Too often instead of worshiping God, we construct statements as to how prayer works. Are we worshiping or are we in dispute with God- 'I don't see how You are going to do it.' This is a sure sign that we are not worshiping. When we lose sight of God we become hard and dogmatic. We hurl our own petitions at God's throne and dictate to Him as to what we wish Him to do. We do not worship God, nor do we seek to form the mind of Christ. If we are hard towards God, we will become hard towards other people.

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Barbour & Company (http://www.barbourbooks.com). Selected mostly from talks given during the years 1911-1915, these devotionals were first published in 1935 by Dodd, Mead & Co., renewed in 1963 by Oswald Chambers Publication Association, Ltd.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Lord, give us the mind of Christ as we pray for each other. May our intercessions be supported by a proper attitude of worship.

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.