Who's Pulling Who?


In one of Richard Rohr's daily meditations, he makes this observation: As soon as you make prayer a way to get something, you’re not moving into a new state of consciousness. It's the same old consciousness. “How can I get God to do what I want God to do?” It's the egocentric self still deciding what it needs, but now often trying to manipulate God too.
This is one reason religion is in such desperate straits today. It really isn't transforming people, but leaving them in their separated and egocentric state. It pulls God inside of my agenda instead of letting God pull me inside of his. This is still the small old self at work. What the Gospel is talking about is the emergence of “a whole new creation” and a “new mind,” as Paul variously calls it.

That really hit hard. I do spend too much of my prayer time in negotiation. And, Richard Rohr is right. There are a great number of Christians who believe that because they believe, they will gain prosperity, health and every worldly pleasure. That is a great deception. We do not exist to gain this world. We exist to be in spiritual union with the Divine.  

By the world's standards, spending time in a contemplative state is not considered productive. It doesn't minimize our To Do List, it doesn't accomplish anything, except open our eyes to more closely see the world as God does, a mixture of the beautiful and the ugly, the joyful and the sorrowful, neither entirely evil or entirely good. 

In order to do that, I must let go of my agenda, even things I think are good in God's eyes. I  must step back from the world and get rid of the To Do list, replacing it with a To Be list. This becoming will change my  thoughts and the good deeds and the compassion for others will automatically emerge from that union.

I am refocusing my early morning devotions from my usual I Want/ I Need Prayer. God already knows what I need. Rather, I will start my prayer time with being thankful for what I already have instead of concentrating on what I don't have.  From this state of thankfulness, I will enter into a contemplative reading of His Word.   With a more open, non-critical, judgmental mind,  my self centered prayer will become a Seeing Prayer, and a closer union with God. 

This New Creation will have a more open mind with which to hear, and follow, that  inner voice nudging me to take seemingly trivial side trips which upset my best laid plans, but later prove to be the most powerful moments of my life. 
Dear Lord, lead me to see the world, and myself, as you do, and not through my judgments or perceived needs.  Amen. 

Comments

  1. Wow. That got my attention. I also spend much of my prayer time begging God to deliver me from my situation, when the things I need are of this world. I should refocus, draw closer to God and focus on the things not of this world.

    Thanks for the post.

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  2. Yes, Lorna, our focus makes all the difference. As we have shared in personal messages, God goes to great lengths to grow us spiritually, even to causing us pain if it is necessary. That is a tough one to accept.

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  3. Amen...this goes hand in hand with our sermon yesterday...another confirming word. I am listening Lord!!
    Thanks

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  4. Cecilia, What a great blog and you are right we do often try to drag God to our view instead of allowing ourselves to get dragged to his point of view.

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  5. Janette, He does seem to nag at us, doesn't He? He certainly wants us to understand His view of the world and of us. I am listening too, Janette.

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  6. George, thank you for the kind words. It is so easy to focus on our needs and ignore His will, and He of course will bring us up short every, single time. Thank goodness!

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  7. Amen, amen, and amen, Ceci! We forget that prayer is a conversation, a two-sided conversation. It is meant for intimate moments to know the heart of the Father. A servant does not beg his master; he bows in respect and does the master's bidding. Praise and thanksgiving before asking is preferable to barging into the Throne Room and laying out a long list of complaints and requests. Such a great post, sweetie! Thank you!

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  8. I agree, Lynn. Our focus needs to be on thanks and praise rather than "Give Me!" So hard when you are in dire need of the basics, but He knows our needs...thank you for stopping in and commenting.

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