sometimes the easiest way to fight for joy, to fight to trust God when it seems He is letting go of His grip on the world is (for me anyway) to completely shift focus. to not think on those things. not sort them out, not try to understand. to let go & admit that my mind is too small. to really grasp His plans anyway. to humble myself--lets be real, if God explained His plans step by step i still would be unable to grasp them. i have not the mental scope. finite meeting infinite. i need to let it go. focus my mind on Christ. its in His hands.
so. A Praying Life by Paul Miller is a book i've been soaking in for almost a year now. haven't quite finished it, but i've reread chapters over n over. its simple. but parts of it have grabbed my heart. thought i'd post some of the underlined sections that convicted/comforted meOne of the biggest key points of the book is that prayer is about our hearts & relationship with God.

"As you develop your relationship with your heavenly Father, you'll change...You will be unmasked. None of us likes being exposed. We have an allergic reaction to dependency, but this is the state of the heart most necessary for a praying life. A needy heart is a praying heart. Dependency is the heartbeat of prayer. So when it starts getting uncomfortable, don't pull back from God. He is just starting to work. Be patient."

"...in learning to pray, we must believe like a child. Children are supremely confident of their parents' love and power. Instinctively, they trust. They believe their parents want to do them good. If you know your parent loves and protects you, it fills your world with possibility."

"When Jesus tells us to believe, He isn't asking us to work up some spiritual energy. He is telling us to realize that, like him, we don't have the resources to do life. When you know that you (like Jesus) can't do life on your own, then prayer makes complete sense." {its total arrogance on my part to think that i can do life on my own when the very Son of God in human form "needed" strength from his father. if Christ needed to pray, how much more do i!}

"Jesus' example teaches us that prayer is about a relationship. When he prays he is not performing a duty; he is getting closer to his Father. Any relationship, if it is going to grow, needs private space...you don't create intimacy, you make room for it."

"Prayer is an expression of who we are...We are a living incompleteness  We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment." (Thomas Merton)

"We don't  need self-discipline to pray continually, we just need to be poor in spirit. Poverty of spirit makes room for his Spirit."

"Instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like broken power lines, destroying everything they touch. Anxiety wants to be God but lacks God's wisdom, power, or knowledge. A godlike stance without godlike character and ability is pure tension. Because anxiety is self on its own, it tries to get control. It is unable to relax in the face of chaos...we forget the last deliverance. ... the Spirit brings humility into our hearts. No longer do we have to be little gods...we cling to our Father in the face of chaos by praying. Because we know we don't have control, we cry out for grace. Instead of flailing around, our praying spirits can bless everything we touch."

*from chapters 2-7

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