16 Dec 2010

Three Guiding Principles for Maturity in Prayer

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The day before yesterday I had promised to share with you a post about the Mystic Nativity by Sandro Botticelli. I am still going to do that but feel the need to interrupt that plan. Last night I had a conversation with a dear friend who has become interested in contemplative prayer. I dropped him a quick note regarding three principles of prayer that I wish someone had shared with me long ago. I believe these are three guiding principles of prayer that with time can produce a tremendous amount of maturity. I am feeling led this morning to go with those as a post rather the Mystic Nativity. So here is an excerpt from my note to him.

1) The greatest teacher of prayer is praying. Don’t get
so caught up in reading about prayer that it becomes
a substitute for praying.

2) The object of prayer is God, not prayer. When learning
new techniques there is a tendency to get so focused on
the technique that you lose track of it being about God. Some
of this is unavoidable for a period. But prayer is a means to
an end not and end in itself. When it becomes an end to itself
it stops being prayer.

3) Don’t judge prayer by the experience of praying, but
rather instead by the change in you over time that it
begins to produce.
It’s not important whether or not
you have a mountain top experience. It is important
that you become more Christ like.

May God open you to greater levels of spiritual awareness
and deeper levels of intimacy as you seek to grow in

Lastly, I encourage you today to take a few minutes to let
go of the Christmas rush and listen for an Advent hush.

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