I feel like one of the most responsible things that I can talk about for all generations (especially my own) is prayer. My generation has its own belief system rooted in deism. America itself was not rooted in Christianity (most of the founding fathers were deists). So, while most people believe in God, they believe in the God “out there.” Many people have a disconnected relationship with God. We can see this in our very language. Growing up Evangelical, I was raised to talk about and leading others to “have a relationship with God.” I have a relationship with my Mom. I am a relationship with God. God, who as Paul Tillich says is, “the ground of my being.” I can only have a relationship with something that is out there. I am what is inside of me. We are not the God out there, but who we truly are is the “Christ who lives in me.”
Prayer serves many functions; but I don’t think many people experience themselves as connected to God through it because they’re praying to the God “out there.” So much of our time in prayer is trying to control God into what we want him to do. Which is why my generation finds God to be a God who is a “therapeutic-deist.” My generation believes God is someone who exists for our sake. As long as we are essentially good people, then God will fix my problems. This is not a healthy reality for prayer. This view of prayer holds that we are in control and it’s God’s job to conform to me and my desires. In prayer we find the God who is the creator and source of my life. When we realize that I am not me, but I am Christ who lives in me, then we can find that we are our relationships with God. In this way, God is closer to us than we are to ourselves.
Why would we pray to a God who is disconnected from us? Who would I even be praying to?
Let’s begin this year in prayer and discover why we should pray. Richard Rohr calls prayer our “built in therapy.” Prayer has the ability to change every aspect of our living lives.