Ana Mullan talks about the importance of prayer in our spiritual formation.
PRAYER IS RELATIONSHIP AND SERVICE
It is important that we think what image of God we have when it comes to pray. One of the dangers in prayer is to think that we are the initiators, that we are the one en-charged, but prayer is not about us but about God. WE ARE THERE FOR HIM. God is the one who pursue us, the one who waits, the one who wants to embrace us. In prayer we respond to his invitation, to his initiative. I am invited to be with the creator of the universe but also the one who created me and who is inviting me to be a coworker in the extension of His Kingdom. It demands an attitude of listening, not so much of talking all the time.
PRAYER DEMANDS TO COME AS WE ARE, THE REAL ME
Prayer is not so much about saying prayers but an attitude of the heart that enables me without any fear to come as I am. I let God see me for who I am and I see Him. Look at the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. Many times in prayer, we spend time studying God from a distance, interceding for the world, without letting Him near our own hearts. He is kept at a distance. We want to hide like Adam.
BUT IF WE KEEP IN MIND THE GOD THAT JESUS PORTRAYED, THERE IS NO FEAR IN ALLOWING OURSELVES TO BE KNOWN. IN PRAYER WE COME TO A GOD WHO LOVES US, WHO IS FOR US, WHO UNDERSTAND US. WE DON’T NEED TO HIDE.
PRAYER IS ABOUT DEALING AT THE ROOT OF OUR SIN WITH THE HELP OF JESUS.
Sin is breaking the relationship of love that God offers us. It is to pursue independence and try to find meaning for my life outside of God. This happens to us on a daily basis, if we are honest. In prayer God tries to help us to name, not just a bad behaviour, like losing my temper, but to find the root of the action, to redirect my heart towards transformation. Even something good can become a block to our growth. Something that is good can become too important. Tim Keller calls it “idols of the heart”, others call it: “disorder attachments”.
We pray not so God solves all the problems of our kingdom but to cooperate in the business of His Kingdom.