Friday, May 09, 2014

Prayer as Awareness of God's Heartbreak (PrayerLife)

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I just looked at photos of atrocities in South Sudan. They are heartbreaking. 

I need to see them. I cannot live a a fabricated world insulated from the suffering of others. While no one could be expected to know the total troubledness of the world's people, God knows. 

When we pray as conferencing with God, one of the God Conference's main sessions is on global suffering. Some kind of awareness of God's heartbreak must be ours. In real prayer we come to know more of what God knows.

Henri Nouwen writes:

·      "To pray is to unite ourselves with Jesus and lift up the whole world through him to God in a cry for forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, and mercy. To pray, therefore, is to connect whatever human struggle of pain we encounter - whether starvation, torture, displacement of peoples, or any form of physical and mental anguish - with the gentle and humble heart of Jesus." (Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life, 36)

I have found that one result of praying for the distant suffering of others attunes my heart to the suffering of those around me. I am thinking that of more of us prayed globally, more would be accomplished locally.