Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Praying Is an Act of Protest

Pottery by Gary Wilson
One result of a habitual praying life is that God removes unrighteous anger from my heart. God takes the chip off my shoulder. He softens the edge. He forms His heart of compassion in me for my enemies. He frees me from the prison cell of hatred, and releases me to love in ways I have never done before. 

For me this is not a theory but an empirical, existential reality. My wife Linda has seen the results. I am a better husband as Christ is more deeply formed in me. I get changed. Much of this happens as I am praying. 

In praying I become clay on a potter's wheel. I am not the shaping agent of my own transformation, God is. Many times I can feel Him shaping me.

This is praying as an act of resistance to the common, unholy structures of the world which demand conformation to their will. To pray is to protest against the hate-filled standards of our culture. In solitary praying I am protesting against the world which wants to shape my heart into its forms of destruction, hatred, manipulation, competition, suspicion, defensiveness, and war.

In praying I give witness to God whose love is all-healing and all-embracing. I protest against the world by declaring “Hands off me!”