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Prayer = Helplessness

April 5, 2010
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Paul Miller, in his excellent book A Praying Life, equates prayer with helplessness. Here are some of his helpful comments:

God wants us to come to him empty-handed, weary, and heavy-laden. Instinctively we want to get rid of our helplessness before we come to God. . . .

Prayer is bringing your helplessness to Jesus. . . .

The gospel, God’s free gift of grace in Jesus, only works when we realize we don’t have it all together. The same is true for prayer. The very thing we are allergic to—our helplessness—is what makes prayer work. It works because we are helpless. We can’t do life on our own.

Prayer mirrors the gospel. In the gospel, the Father takes us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of salvation. In prayer, the Father receives us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of help. . . .

We look at the inadequacy of our praying and give up, thinking something is wrong with us. God looks at the adequacy of his Son and delights in our sloppy, meandering prayers. . . .

The very thing you were trying to escape—your inability—opens the door to prayer and then grace.

Quotes from pages 54-59.

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