Still falling asleep while praying

After a year and a bit of blogging, a “4th Point” post that consistently gets lots of hits each month is the one I wrote about falling asleep while praying in which I quote from Kevin G. Harney’s book Seismic Shifts.  Brennan Manning also has something to say on the subject in his book The Furious Longing of God.

After referring to the intimacy and trust that’s implicit in calling God our “Abba” (“Father”), Mr. Manning writes…

Is your own personal prayer life characterized by the simplicity, childlike candour, boundless trust, and easy familiarity of a little one crawling up in Daddy’s lap?  An assured knowing that the daddy doesn’t care if the child falls asleep, starts playing with toys, or even starts chatting with little friends, because the daddy knows the child has essentially chosen to be with him for that moment?  Is that the spirit of your interior prayer life? (p. 44)

Granted, if we consistently fall asleep while praying because talking with God is boring or we consign Him only the final few drowsy moments of a too-busy day, we need to re-examine our praying.  However, if we fall asleep in the loving and familiar embrace of our Father’s love, well, what father won’t be filled with deep satisfaction and joy?

::  I quoted Brennan Manning
a couple days ago, too.
::  A
series based on the themes of Seismic Shifts begins this Sunday at Telkwa CRC.

The impact of God’s furious love for us

Brennan Manning - Furious Longing of God After someone at Telkwa CRC recommended it, I just finished reading Brennan Manning’s The Furious Longing of God.  Between Mr. Manning’s compelling use of Scripture and powerful stories, it’s definitely worth reading.  It will impact how you think about and live for God.

Something he suggests we do each day is say these words:

Abba, I belong to You.

Pray these words with childlike trust and deep reverence.  They will help you and me (re)discover God’s great love for you and me personally.  Mr. Manning helps me put into words this great love of God’s…

The love of God … knows no boundary, limit or breaking point.  …The wild, unrestricted love of God is not simply an inspiring idea.  When it imposes itself on mind and heart with the stark reality of ontological truth, it determines why and at what time you get up in the morning, how you pass your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, and who you hang with; it affects what breaks your heart, what amazes you, and what makes your heart happy. (p. 75)

As we internalize God’s love, we are called to reflect it towards others.  Mr. Manning writes a couple chapters later…

Jesus said you are to love one another as I have loved you, a love that will possibly lead to the bloody, anguished gift of yourself; a love that forgives seventy times seven, that keeps no score of wrongdoing.  Jesus said this, this love, is the one criterion, the sole norm, the standard of discipleship in the New Israel of God.  He said you’re going to be identified as His disciples, not because of your church-going, Bible-toting, or song-singing.  No, you’ll be identified as His by one sign only: the deep and delicate respect for one another, the cordial love impregnated with reverence for the sacred dimension of the human personality because of the mysterious substitution of Christ for the Christian.  (p. 86)

Christ’s deep love for us profoundly impacts how we relate with others – even our enemies.  As they say, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”