[Just a couple notes of clarification before I actually start talking about the book. When I've done these group reading projects in the past, I found that my posts were half book review and half comments on what I learned. In the posts for this book I plan to focus on the benefit I received from the book and try to not write statements that sound like they would be in a book review. Maybe that won't be as clear to you as it is to me, but once I settled that in my mind it helped me focus my comments.
Also, each week I will do my best to only point out the information that stood out to me the most. I'm not wanting to write a chapter in discussing his two chapters!]
- I don't think I had ever considered the fact that an inability to pray or difficulty in praying is a result of the Fall. (Pg. 14, Loc. 200) Maybe before I had the mindset of "I'm a Christian- I should be able to pray" whereas with this in mind I would see it as "This is yet another area damaged by sin, yet God can help us see growth and progress."
- He dealt with the problem of maintaining a prayer list. (Pg. 14, Loc. 200) I am facing this right now. I have a notebook, but as the list grows I'm unsure which things to pray for. I find I usually pray for the most recently added, and neglect the previous ones. I tried an app for a little bit. I like it- I can create several lists and have the app show me a designated number from the list each day. That way, I'm cycling through the whole number of requests. However, if I pray for a request too long, the phone screen turns off, so I'm constantly turning my phone back on. The extra hassle with the smartphone has led me away from using it for now. All that to say- this is where I am right now. I look forward to his practical suggestions later in the book.
- I could relate to his fictitious prayer therapist. The therapist said, "Your relationship with your heavenly Father is dysfunctional. You talk as if you have an intimate relationship, but you don't. Theoretically, it is close. Practically, it is distant. You need help." (Pg. 17, Loc. 245) I know in my head that I can have a close relationship with my Father, my Savior, my Creator, but that is not shown practically in my prayer life.
- I was helped by his saying prayer feels like a dinner with friends. (Pg. 20, Loc. 274) In that setting, I simply enjoy the relationships that surround me and conversation naturally comes from those relationships. He helped remind me that prayer should be the same. My conversation (prayer) should simply flow from my relationship with my Savior.
- "Oddly enough, many people struggle to learn how to pray because they are focusing on praying, not on God." (Pg. 20, Loc. 274) Ouch!! I have done this and do this and didn't even see it before.
- Finally, I appreciated this perspective of unanswered prayers. It gave me something to think on in that arena. This is the quote: "Unanswered prayers create some of the tensions in the story God is weaving in our lives. When we realize this, we want to know what God is doing. What pattern is God weaving." (Pg. 22, Loc. 309)
That's what stood out to me. What say you?