Monday, April 5, 2010

Chapter One...Stop Praying!

Interesting title for Chapter One, isn’t it? Chan’s point here isn’t that we should actually stop praying. Instead, he’s asking us to take a look at HOW we pray…and ultimately asking us to change how we acknowledge and converse with God. Here’s what he says in the opening paragraph of Chapter One:

“What if I said, ‘Stop praying’? What if I told you to stop talking at God for a while, but instead to take a long, hard look at Him before you speak another word? Solomon warned us not to rush into God’s presence with words. That’s what fools do. And often, that’s what we do.” P. 25

So, in a nutshell, Chan’s insinuating that we are fools…and maybe he’s not that far off. Think about the last time you prayed. (Hopefully you can remember. If not, we have some extra leg work to do!) Now, think about what was said during that conversation. Did you take time to actually marvel at how awesome God is? Did you acknowledge our Creator with reverence, or just petition Him with a laundry list of requests for the day? For me, the last time I prayed was at 5:01 this morning (that’s when my alarm clock went off.) And this is LITERALLY what I said: “Thank you, Lord, for this day. Now, help me figure out how I’m going to get through it.” Not exactly up to Chan’s standards is it…and definitely not worthy of praise for God. Of course, I don’t always pray like this…but the point isn’t to critique our absolute best quiet time with God. The purpose is to ALWAYS give our best.

In order to do this, we have to really understand how awesome God is. On page 27, Chan marks out a path for us to follow: We can better understand how magnificent God is if we spend some time examining what He has created. Here are a few lines from that page:

“Did you know that a caterpillar has 228 separate and distinct muscles in its head? That’s quite a few for a bug. The average elm tree has approximately 6 million leaves on it…Did you know that when you get goose bumps, the hair in your follicles is actually helping you stay warmer by trapping body heat? Or what about the simple fact that plants take in carbon dioxide (which is harmful to us) and produce oxygen (which we need to survive)? I’m sure you knew that, but have you ever marveled at it?” p. 27

So, next time you pray…STOP! Don’t speak to God as if He’s a short order cook taking your lunchtime request. Think about who He is…what He’s done. If you need more inspiration, keep reading.


In the book, Chan asks us to check out a video chip on his web site:

On the bottom left, you will see a link for VIDEOS. Click on “the awe factor of God.” Watch this clip. It’s pretty interesting and gives you a much needed dose of perspective. So, as you spend time in prayer the next few days, think about this video and try to acknowledge God as the Creator of all things.

While you’re at the website, check out the Introduction video and Chapter 1 video. They’re really short, but you might find them helpful.

* On a side note, I leave for Nicaragua tomorrow morning. I’m going on a week long trip with Adios Ministries, which is one of the partner organizations for Youth Mission Challenge. My husband has generously agreed to post one of my blogs in a few days, which will be my third for this week. I will try to write one myself, while I’m away. But, if I’m unable to, I will jump back in on the 13th. Thanks for the prayers and encouragement. You guys (and gals) are the best!

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