Reading my way through Eugene Peterson's most recent-and possibly final-book, As Kingfishers Catch Fire.
His thoughts on prayer are worth repeating and pondering:
"Prayer is first of all a means of listening.
Prayer is an act of attention.
We are not used to this. We suppose we are in charge of prayer.
God has spoken. We are required to enter a world of listening to God."
I need to take Peterson in small doses; to ingest his words and to let them slowly spread into my soul. To ponder them for days before I ingest any more.
To read his thoughts quickly, to gulp down too many words at one time without thinking about them, is a waste. It is like drinking a beautiful glass of red wine in one swallow.
Will you ponder this one little nugget of his writing with me today?
What does it mean that "prayer is first of all a means of listening?"
What does that mean in your life?
How do you operationalize that?
Do you teach this to others, or when you talk about prayer in your life and ministry, is it always as if prayer were primarily the act of talking?
What about the idea that "prayer is an act of attention?"
In a world where our attention is bought and sold by the shiniest object on the internet, this is a sobering thought.
What might prayer look like in your life if you believed it was primarily about listening and paying attention?
More in a couple days ... this is enough Peterson medicine for now.