Friday, June 25, 2010

Prayer and Fire

"Prayer is imagination on fire with God."

There, I said it. Publically. For days, this phrase has been rolling around my mind like a marble which had lost its way. Now, I have lodged it squarely into the world wide web.

Throughout my life, I've struggled with prayer. What does it do? How does it help? I've read the commands to pray. I've seen time and again how God responds to prayer. I've witnessed the miraculous and unexplainable occur after prayer. I've felt prayer mold me and calm me and instruct me. But still it feels like a discipline rather than a pleasure. How can communication with my Creator feel so forced sometimes?

"Prayer is imagination on fire with God."

I like the idea that my imagination is a part of prayer. Imagination flows freely, both when I'm conscious and when I am not. It has a "pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17)" feel to it. Imagination hopes and dreams and thus has a wishing or asking element. Of course, imagination can often wander into destructive and fleshly territory (success fantasies, money dreams, lusts and control hopes). But that is where the "fire" idea purges it all. Burning with God is prayer. Burning apart from God is lust.

"Prayer is imagination on fire with God."

Perhaps that phrase is itself an answer to my prayer.

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