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BruceD

Wonderfully stated, my friend. I agree completely. Isn't it marvelous to become free of dull, artificial ritual, and experience the reality of LIFE with God?

Michael

Well said. I agree with you wholeheartedly. To be known by God and to know him is the passion that drives me. While we can (and should) forsake our works based western Christian mythology for a meaningful holistic Christ-centered life, we must seek to put down roots into the rich soil of God for it is there we find strength and stability to sustain the wind; we find nutrients that cause us to grow and give health; we find living water to quench our weary dryness; and roots are always seeking for more. I confess my Christian mythology drives me to works-based, compartmentalized, and mental assent to doctrine based religion; but true holistic Christ-centered living involves works, doctrine, and continual experience of God. We must find the balance and embrace the truth beyond their over emphasis and become true holistic followers of Christ.

Trish

Thank you for verbalizing what has been my feeling for a long time! We are in daily prayer with the Lord every second of our life. I used to wonder, when I laid down to sleep at night and fell asleep while praying if God got my prayer because I never had a chance to say "Amen" at the end. Silly me. Thats what turned my thought process to understanding that we *are* in prayer with Him, constantly.

Dan Edelen

At the risk of alienating Darren, who has me listed as a regular read in his blogroll, I have to disagree.

In the Emerging church movement, there is a great move to prayer solely as a continuous practicing of the presence of God. I believe this to be an enormous mistake.

The reason? It is not an either/or proposition here. Practicing the presence of the Lord AND focused, intentional times of dedicated prayer are BOTH essential. Substituting one for another is a diminishment of our communion with the Lord.

As always, our example is the Lord Jesus. He was certainly always communing with His Father, but he also withdrew to spend focused prayer time in the Father's presence.

I am reminded, too, of A.W. Tozer, whose practice it was to begin each day in focused prayer prostrate before the Lord from 7 AM till Noon each day. I do not doubt that Tozer also stayed in God's presence the rest of the day, but hw still maintained an intentional prayer time.

So many people have told me that they have switched from intentional times of prayer to solely practicing the presence of God. While they all agree they feel unburdened by doing so, a quick check shows that they do not truly see breakthroughs in their prayer lives anymore. That's very sad. What is sadder still is they those same folks will acknowledge that their effectiveness in prayer has suffered, but they are unwilling to add the intentional prayer times back into the mix.

Just a warning. I know many people who have gone down this path and found it wanting in the end.

Peace.

Darren

Don't worry about alienating me Dan. Your warning is well taken that is why I said, “While i do practice verbal prayer.”

I agree that they are both essential as I have been down the “life of prayer” path in an out-of balance form as your comments indicated. That is why I incorporate verbal prayer times into the disciplines of my spiritual life as a Christian.

But my verbal prayer times are not an activity / artificial ritual / duty / works based event. It remains an outflow of my life of prayer and a cultivation of an interior seeking after the continuous presence of God.

Prayer as a verbal activity is so misused that I wanted to focus on the motive for Prayer as Life vs. Prayer as Christian Activity.

As an activity, prayer is compartmentalized and I’m on about a holistic faith and life of prayer. If I gave the impression that I completely rejected times of verbal prayer then i need to craft my posts better.

Beyond that, if you feel we still disagree then i'm ok with that. Please feel free to comment in the future as i find dissenting comments helpful when presented as you have done.

Thanks!

Wes

I am new to your blog. I like what I see.

I entered the comment for this article under "Sunday Thoughts". Here it is again.

"As a purveyor of AMNESTY, I find that my life of prayer is lived and expressed in both spontainious compassion and deliberate intercession."

Glad that Bruce pointed me in your direction !

Among other things, I too have been called a mystic.

Wes

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  • In the Celtic tradition "Thin Places" are places where the spiritual and the natural world intersect. It is a place where it is possible to touch and be touched by God. "Thin Spaces" are the moments when we experience a deep sense of God’s presence in our everyday world.




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