Philip Yancy on prayer.
Honest Simple Prayer
Jesus taught a model prayer, the Lord?s Prayer, but otherwise gave few rules.
His teaching reduces down to three general principles:
Keep it honest, keep it simple,and keep it up.
Mainly, Jesus pressed home that we come as beloved children
to a Father who loves us in advance and cares deeply about our lives.
Ask young parents what is the correct way for their toddlers to approach them
and you will probably get a puzzled look.
Correct way? Being a parent means you do you best
to remain available to your children and responsive to their needs.
As Jesus said, if a human parent
responds with compassion and not hostility,
how much more will God?
Even after spelling out some of what we do wrong in our prayers, however,
I must repeat that prayer does not work according to a fixed formula:
get your life in order, say the right words, and the desired result will come.
If that were true, Job would have avoided much suffering,
Paul would have shed his thorn in the flesh,
and Jesus would never have gone to Golgotha.
Between the two questions
?Does God answer prayer??
and ?Will God grant my specific prayer
for this sick child
or this particular injustice??
lies a great pool of mystery.
?Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?? by Philip Yancey
Fourteen million of his books have been sold worldwide, making him one of the best-selling evangelical Christian authors.