When distorted, prayer becomes complicated when, in fact, it’s really quite simple. Make too much of prayer and it looses its essential simplicity and beauty. Focus on prayer and you turn prayer into something you must accomplish, something for which you need extensive training, and certain experts to show you the way. When this happens, you distort the experience of prayer into something other than everything that’s not prayer. Prayer becomes something sacred, an act tied to certain religious practices and doctrines.
When this happens, you separate prayer from your ordinary, daily life. As Sunday is different from Monday, the church sanctuary different from your office, home, or car, so prayer becomes something different from washing the dishes, designing a website, driving to work, making love, or performing surgery. I’m as influenced by this distortion as you are. Unfortunately, the confusion is part of sin’s legacy among us.
Prayer, while among the most basic of human impulses, becomes something delegated to super-believers—monks, mystics, and saints, not us sinners.
But Christ reverses all this. In Christ, prayer once again becomes what it should be—the experience of life itself.
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