Monday, March 7, 2016

A Praying Life- Chapters 11-12

(A few friends and I are reading this book together.  Each week we will read two chapters and on Friday I will post my comments from the reading.  Others may add their thoughts in the comments section.  If you are interested in reading this book as well, here is the link for the Kindle version of the book.)

Chapters 11-12
- "Cynicism looks in the wrong direction.  It looks for the cracks in Christianity instead of looking for the presence of Jesus."  (Pg. 96, Loc. 1249) As with many things, I think this is an area where it is difficult at times to find balance.  We want to see Christ's presence in others' lives, but we don't want to overlook or condone ungodly behavior: the "cracks" in Christianity. 

- I like his practice of looking for the difference between what others would normally be like and what they had become through Jesus. (Pg. 96, Loc. 1258) I want to consider this more when observing other people.

- "Christians aren't superior, but our Savior is."  (Pg. 98, Loc. 1293)  Amen!!  Yet in this statement I see the back door for people to dismiss their wrong behavior.  Yes, our Savior is superior, but He gives grace and strength so that we can live holy lives.  We are not superior, but our lives should be different!

- I found the following quote very interesting: "Western culture (North America and Europe), along with public cultures created by the West through communism (such as Russia and China), is the most publicly atheistic culture that has ever existed.  Among the thousands of cultures in the history of humanity, our culture is the only one not to have any regular public acknowledgment of a spiritual world."  (Pg. 104, Loc. 1327)

- I would not have expected a discussion on secularism and the Enlightenment in a book on prayer, but I thought it was helpful.  His explanation of how prayer has been put into the subjective realm and therefore dismissed by the culture made sense to me.  I feel like I was able to see others' perspective better.

I've had my say, what say you?

Discussion on Chapters 9-10
Discussion on Chapters 13-14

1 comment:

  1. He says on page 98, “With a little conscious reflection, it is easy to see the beauty of Jesus”. Along with Jacob, I appreciated his comments on seeing Jesus in the lives of others. It's helpful to think that when I see someone perform a kind deed or say a kind word, that's not just that person, but that's Jesus and that's God's grace in their life. If God can work that in their life then He can certainly transform me in the same way. May Christ ever be increasing & I ever decreasing!

    I also felt like his explanation about the enlightenment & secularism was helpful and made sense as to why our culture pushed prayer to the back seat (if not eliminated it all together). As believers I feel we need to not fall into the same trap of separating our lives into the secular & spiritual. All of life is spiritual because life is from God, through God, and to God (Rom.11:36). As it relates to prayer, this means I can & should pray about EVERYTHING (like his daughter's science project). It was just a good reminder that there's nothing too small to pray about.