Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stages of Maturity in Prayer

I don't usually put things from my Sunday morning lesson on my blog, but I thought that some of you would enjoy reflecting on the topic of prayer a little bit. The Seven Stages of Prayer Maturity is something I put together as an introduction to 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, where Paul talked about what he was praying for. I led into it with the statement, that "our prayer life reveals our relationship with God." Since there is no relationship w/o communication, doesn't that mean that there is no relationship with God without prayer? So where are you in your prayer life? The following represents the transition from external prayer practices to intimate communing with the Father.
If you've played the game, you know that this is acting. It basically means that prayer is really non-existent, but you know all the signs, motions, symbols, and things to do to be seen of men. It's all about playing the part.

This is when prayer becomes a law or ritual of faith, that must be obeyed - performed. Still, prayer is only for church times or official gatherings. After all, God only attends official functions.

Calling God only during emergencies - when all else fails! There is no communication, just reaching out to the great Santa in the skies when you need a miracle. How odd to demand a miracle without a relationship!

This is a little better communication with God, at least enough to feel like it's okay to start bargaining with Him. After all, don't you have a better idea about how things should happen in your life? So you bargain good behaviour or righteousness. His offer is already on the table.

You know Him and talk to Him some, but you know it's not a real relationship. So your prayers are all an effort to get the "check list" done and escape guilt. It's staying in touch - just in case He's real.

God never intended for you to be alone. Once you realize that this maturing stuff is a togetherness journey, and you start building loving relationships with others who want to know Him better - you learn how to pray - the importance of communicating with a real Father, and you grow with fellow warriors who help you and you help them. It's called church - the real one.

This is when you realize that you have an ever present Father, a loving Dad and friend you can talk to anywhere, any time, and for any reason. You have an intimate relationship with a real God and a real Savior.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

I love, love, LOVE this! Wish I could've been there to hear the "real thing"!