Pray (Day 34) – What Prayer Does
By Ben Avery - October 29, 2015
Posted in Pray
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Ephesians 4:16
I’m a huge fan of C.S. Lewis. I’ve read almost all his books (except English Literature in the 16th Century Excluding Drama, which is really long and I’ve owned since college but just haven’t brought myself to read because it looks SO BORING…but someday when I’m recovering from a surgery or something…maybe…I’ll read it). I’ve written articles about him. I’ve recorded podcasts about him. I like him. A lot.
So, it would be a crime if I went through a whole series without using a quote from him. And he has written some amazing books about prayer and faith and some insightful articles about prayer and faith. There were so many to choose from that I almost gave up trying.
Almost. I was thinking about an article he wrote that I read at the beginning of the PRAY series, and this stuck out to me.
The very question “Does prayer work?” puts us in the wrong frame of mind from the outset…In (prayer) God shows Himself to us. That he answers prayer is a corollary—not necessarily the most important one—from the revelation. What He does is learned from what He is.
C.S. Lewis, “The Efficacy of Prayer”, from The World’s Last Night and Other Essays
In other words, prayer changes us. The act of prayer teaches us.
And how could it not? Again, that simple idea I’ve been teaching the kids hides some enormous ideas in it’s seeming simplicity: “Prayer is talking to God and listening to God.”
Prayer is talking to the creator of the universe, who actually wants to listen to us! Prayer is listening to the creator of the universe, who actually wants to speak to us!
Prayer is communion and communication with Holy God. We get to enter his presence! How can that not change us? Especially if it is one of our disciplines. One of our habits. One of our reflexes. But even if it’s not something we intentionally do all the time, when we start to understand who God really, that is when we start to come to Him in prayer. And when we start to come to Him in prayer, that is when we begin learning more about who He REALLY is and who we REALLY are.
And who we are to Him!
I want to hear what you want to say.
I want to know what you want to teach.
I want to do what you want me to do.
Help me to listen. Help me to act. Help me to come closer to you and become more like you.