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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Two Cats

For many years, we have had two cats – brother and sister (though they look nothing alike!)

TwoCats

That’s Spike on the left. Mittens is on the right.

They not only look different – they also have quite different dispositions.

When there’s food involved, Mittens will come and rub up against me. She’ll show the bare minimum of affection, based on immediate felt need. Once she’s fed, she pretty much keeps her distance – always a bit skittish, and never wanting to be picked up and held. She’s not hostile – just not warm and cuddly.

No-one would conclude that at-ease trust is her strong suit.

Mittens is as pretty as all get out, with lovely soft fur – and I wish she’d just relax and enjoy our company more. We care for her, but can’t really express it very directly, because she’s more into a paws-length relationship.

Until she needs her daily bread. Then we’re….useful, I guess.

Spike, on the other hand, is our lover. Just look at that face! When I’m on the deck trying to read, he’ll hop up into my lap for some extended petting time. Spike purrs freely. He likes to be brushed. He initiates contact. He doesn’t mind being picked up and held.

He just wants to be friends.

Two cats, same family, same master who cares for them both.

There’s a lesson here. I am far too much like Mittens in my disposition toward God.

I think Spike has it right.

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Making Sense of Prayer

I’ve always envied those who seem to pray so naturally, with such child-like faith.

Prayer, for me, has always been a tangled struggle of half-belief, pressure to perform, and guilty feelings of failure – especially when you read, say, the biography of George Muelller or some other stellar disciple of the past. Prayer has too often focused on me, not God.

Why such struggle? I don’t think it’s really about prayer itself. It likely stems from tangled and half-blind view of God, particularly as my gracious Father. Add to that a proudly independent spirit, and you don’t have a recipe for child-like faith.

Looking within never produced believing prayer.

Yet – God is infinitely patient with His erring, stubborn, myopic children.

I really need to see prayer as my believing collaboration with a willing Father in the outworking of His will, rather than my doubting performance trying to live up to the standards of a grudging God – trying to convince Him to do my will.

I get it so backwards most of the time.

Lord, I don’t know why you bother with the likes of me. But thank You for Your unending grace.

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