The Inside Column 30/8

Posted in: The Inside Column- Aug 30, 2015 No Comments

Good morning and a warm welcome to all. If you are visiting with us today, we would love to get to know you. Please feel free to stay for a hot drink after the service.

Some thoughts on prayer I came across this week…

‘Eighty percent of life,’ according to Woody Allen, ‘is just showing up.’ So much of life is simply the set of circumstances we find ourselves in – things sort of happen to us.

For example our parents, our genetic design, the weather, much of our education and our government are all things that we experience as ‘happening to us’.

In Greek grammar, we express these sorts of things in what we call the ‘passive voice’.  However, we also make things happen – when we take a step. When we initiate an action and do something, we would express that in the ‘active voice’.

Most of us can appreciate the difference between passive and active – between the things that happen to us and the things we make happen. But Greek also has a third voice – the ‘middle voice’. This is neither wholly active nor wholly passive. When we use the middle voice, we are participating in the results of an action.

Prayer takes place in this voice. The gospel restores the ‘middle voice’ of a real relationship with God. Prayer cannot be in the active voice because it is not an action we control. That would be a pagan concept of prayer: we make the gods do our bidding with incantations and rituals.

Prayer is not in the passive voice either – that would be more like the Hindu concept of prayer, in which I slump passively into the impersonal and fated will of gods and goddesses.

In Christian prayer, we enter into an action begun by another – our creating and saving Lord.  We then find ourselves participating in the results of the action. We neither do it, nor have it done to us.  We will to participate in what is willed.

In one sense the whole of our lives as Christians is prayer. We welcome God’s will in our lives, and we participate in what he is doing in the world. God involves us in his plans.

Of course, he could do it all on his own, but he chooses to involve us. He gives us freedom, yet he remains in control.

If you have any time on a Tuesday morning from 7.30 am – to 8.30am we would love to see you at the church weekly prayer meeting.

 

Yours in Christ

Philip

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