Friday, February 26, 2010

Simple Prayer

"Jesus faced his ultimate fear with honest prayer.

"Let's not overcomplicate this topic.  Don't we do so?  We prescribe words for prayer, places for prayer, clothing for prayer, postures for prayer; durations, intonations, and incantations.  Yet Jesus' garden appeal had none of these.  It was brief (twenty-six English words), straightforward ("Please take this cup of suffering away"), and trusting ("Yet I want your will to be done, not mine").  Low on slick and high on authentic.  Less a silver-tongued saint in the sanctuary; more a frightened child in a father's lap.

"That's it.  Jesus' garden prayer is a child's prayer.  Abba, he prayed, using the homespun word a child would use while scampering up on the lap of Papa...

"...Prayer is the practice of sitting calmly in God's lap and placing our hands on his steering wheel.  He handles the speed and hard curves and ensures safe arrival.  And we offer our requests; we ask God to "take this cup away."  This cup of disease, betrayal, financial collapse, joblessness, conflict, or senility.  Prayer is this simple.  And such simple prayer equipped Christ to stare down his deepest fear.

Do likewise.  Fight your dragons in Gethsemane's garden.  Those persistent, ugly villains of the heart - talk to God about them."
--Max Lucado, from the book "Fearless"

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