The Epic Journey of Prayer

I identify with Philip Yancey’s confession that most of his struggles with the Christian life come down to two themes:

“Why God doesn’t act the way I want Him to, and Why I don’t act the way God wants me to.”

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We’ve all been perplexed about unanswered prayer (why God doesn’t act the way I want Him to).

  • “I readily confess” wrote Yancey, “that I tend to view prayer through a skeptic’s lens, obsessing more about unanswered prayers than rejoicing over answered ones.”
  • “Of all the activities in which the Christian engages, and which are part of the Christian life, there is surely none which causes so much perplexity, and raises so many problems, as the activity which we call prayer.” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones).

Great perspective on prayer

“Prayer has become for me much more than a shopping list of requests to present to God. It has become a realignment of everything. I pray to restore the truth of the universe, to gain a glimpse of the world, and of me, through the eyes of God.”

“In prayer, I shift my point of view away from my own selfishness. I climb above timberline and look down at the speck that is myself. I gaze at the stars and recall what role I, or any of us, play in a universe beyond comprehension. Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God’s point of view” (Prayer, by Philip Yancey).

Sooner or later, we must ask how our worldview affects our approach to prayer.

Resources for deeper reflection:

Steve Cornell


This entry was posted in Christian life, Philip Yancey, Prayer, Spiritual disciplines, Spiritual growth, Spiritual inventory, Spiritual transformation, Worldview. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Epic Journey of Prayer

  1. wellsbunch2014j says:

    I find Philip Yancey’s comments so refreshing. When I read; Two themes:
    “Why God doesn’t act the way I want Him to, and Why I don’t act the way God wants me to.”, my immediate reaction was, Yep! That’s me! I couldn’t have put it better. I have just come to more understanding on an element of my own prayer. I have recently realised that I don’t thank God enough for what He does. And this brought back memories. As a younger Christian, some decades ago, I stopped thanking Him because it seemed that every time I thanked Him for something, that thing went wrong. I realize now (and did to some extent then) that that was the devil trying to stop me from doing God’s will in giving Him the glory. And, unfortunately, it worked! I just didn’t know how to counter it. 1 Peter 5:8 contains the phrase “Be sober, be vigilant.” Other translations use “Be alert”, “Be watchful”, and The Message says “Keep your guard up”. Hopefully, I am now learning to do that so I can stop his rat-bag-ness from mucking up my praise to the Lord – which I know the Lord richly deserves, but which I ain’t been so good at giving! By the way, I also appreciate Steve Cornell’s words, too – I am a fan of Wisdom For Life. Keep up the good work!

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