Like a flash of lightning, prayer exposes for a nanosecond what I would prefer to ignore: my own true state of fragile dependence.
I do not control the action; that is a pagan concept of prayer, putting the gods to work by my incantations or rituals. I am not controlled by the action; that is a Hindu concept of prayer in which I slump passively into the impersonal and fated will of the gods and goddesses. I enter into the action begun by another, my creating and saving Lord, and find myself participating in the results of the action. I neither do it, nor have it done to me; I
will to participate in what is willed.
The Contemplative Pastor
America is the land of pioneers and possibilities. We blaze our own trails and control our own destinies. I take care of myself and think that taking care of you is your job. This attitude infects the American church, where we all too easily overlook the significance of the New Testament metaphor for the church as a family of God. … You cannot read the New Testament with integrity and think that being a Christian boils down to you, Jesus, and your Bible. We are the family of God, brothers and sisters with Christ.