Friday, December 13, 2013

Prayer and Belief (PrayerLife)

Kibera, in Nairobi
If we really believe, we will pray. Prayerlessness is a sign of unbelief. There are other causes of prayerlessness, but surely unbelief is one of them.

This is because of the outrageous offer of prayer. We are invited to confer with the omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, necessarily existent (beginningless and endless, hence uncaused), atemporal (at least prior to creation), non-spatial (hence immaterial) Creator and Sustainer of all that is. Knowing and believing this, who could rationally refuse to pray because "I'm too busy texting people." 

It must be that some who "don't have time to pray" don't really believe. Perhaps they have not yet had The Encounter. They have not experienced God. For God is, primarily, a being to know and be known, not theoretically, but experientially. Experience, not theory, breeds conviction.

Henri Nouwen writes:

"Solitude begins with a time and place for God, and God alone. [= no multitasking allowed; multitasking is the enemy of deep relational knowledge] If we really believe not only that God exists but that God is actively present in our lives - healing, teaching, and guiding - we need to set aside a time and space to give God our undivided attention. Jesus says, "Go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place." (Matt. 6:6)" (Nouwen, Making All Things New; in Seeds of Hope: A Henri Nouwen Reader, 63)