Thursday, August 13, 2015

Contemplating God Changes How We Pray

Greenfield Village, Dearborn

Last night Linda and I stepped out of our house to see some of this year’s Perseid meteor shower. We stood in the darkness of our yard. She leaned into my arms and I held her as we looked at the perfectly clear starry sky. I have never gotten over the feeling of wonder and awe and smallness that comes when I look into the vastness of space. I wanted Linda and I to see just one meteor together. We waited and waited until it finally came, streaking across the vast black canopy!
Tonight the Perseid shower happens again. I’m going to get a chair and sit beneath it for a longer time. The early evening sky is clear as I’m typing this. The humidity is low, the temperature is warm, and I’ve got a childlike expectancy in my soul.
My experience with God is like this. As I meditate on God’s stunning creation I am given insights into the being of God. In God there is a greatness and a perfection that dwarfs the cosmos.
This is about God’s essential attributes, which are omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence, atemporality[1], nonphysicality (hence omnipresence), and all of which are ascribed to a necessarily existing (everlasting; without beginning or end) being.
This God who loves me and invites me to communicate with him is beyond comparison. When I survey God’s wondrous analytic predicates my praying life is transfigured. To consider God, the great Subject of my prayers, is to pray differently.

[1] An excellent discussion about God’s relationship to time is found in God and Time: Four Views, by Gregory Ganssle and Paul Helm.