Sunday, October 5, 2014

Max and Anne - Views on Prayer

While scrolling down through my Facebook feed, I came upon a snippet of an interview on the 700 Club with Max Lucado. Max is my all-time favorite Christian author. His book, He Still Moves Stones, was one of the first Christian books I ever read. I love his writing style….I love how clearly he expresses the love of God for his children. 

They talked about two things in the interview:

His support of Husain Abdullah in a recent USA editorial where he said:
Which is why the sight of Abdullah, a Muslim who sat out the 2012 season to go on a pilgrimage, being penalized was hard to watch. Tim Tebow brought gridiron prayer to the forefront with his iconic kneeling in gratitude. And countless other professional football players have been seen kneeling in an end zone prayer. 
For decades competitors have bowed their heads, crossed their hearts, kissed their rosaries and lifted their eyes to heaven as they sought favor on the fields of competition. Is a little petition or gratitude so bad? If the act is sincere toward God as opposed to insincere, for show, what is the harm?
Indeed, what is the harm? And while so many evangelical Christians got themselves all worked up at Tebow’s critics, where was the outrage about Abdullah’s fifteen yard penalty? Oh yeah…..he was bowing to the “wrong” God.  I think it was quite gutsy of Max to come out in support of Abdullah.   
And anyway, the story had a happy ending because the NFL apologized and said the official was wrong and that players can, indeed, pray.

The other topic of the interview was his new book, Before Amen. Max admits to being a prayer wimp. He’s mentioned his difficulties with prayer in other books he's written. He said “doing something for God” comes more naturally to him that “praying to God.” (That is a paraphrase, by the way) Through the years he’s developed what he refers to as the pocket prayer. He studied all the prayers in the Bible and summed them up into six short sentences.

Father, You are good. I need help. So do they. Thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.

I love it. He succinctly sums it all up in those short sentences.

I rarely say a traditional prayer. I truly believe I always have God’s ear. I feel like he is paying attention as I go about my day….typing reports, checking my email, eating lunch, going to the bathroom.  Doesn’t “pray without ceasing” mean that I thank him for small blessings throughout the day, tell him I love him, ask his to watch over my children or let him know I am quite miffed at the way he is allowing some things to play out.

Anne Lamott (another of my favorites) also has a book out about prayer. In my next post (no, not an empty promise) I’ll talk about “Help, Thanks, Wow: The ThreeEssential Prayers” by Anne Lamott.  

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