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Bitter Just Like Charbuck’s Coffee
Thu, 2010-09-23 16:27 — moderator
We're posting some conversation-stirring quotes every Tues, Thurs, and Saturday. This week’s theme is prayer and meditation.
Albert Day said, “We Protestants are an undisciplined people. Therein lies the reason for much of the dearth if spiritual insights and serious lack of moral power.” Nowhere is this lack of discipline more evident than our prayer lives. We are by a prayer-less people full of excuses for our negligence. In today’s quote, D. A. Carson tackles one of these common excuses for prayerlessness:
I am too bitter to pray…
We cannot live long in this world without coming across injustice, chronic lack of fairness. Many of us accept such sin with reasonable equanimity, reasoning that it is, after all, a fallen world. But when the injustice or unfairness is directed against us, our reaction may be much less philosophical. Then we may nurture a spirit of revenge, or at least of bitterness, malice, and gossip. Such sins in turn assure that our prayers are never more than formulaic; eventually such sin may lead to chronic prayerlessness. “How can I be expected to pray when I have suffered so much?” “Don’t talk to me about praying for my enemies: I know who has kept me from being promoted.”
Life itself is consumed by the petty assessment of how well you are perceived by those around you. In this morass of self-pity and resentment, real prayer is squeezed out. In other words, many of us do not want to pray because we know that disciplined, biblical prayer would force us to eliminate sin that we rather cherish. It is very hard to pray with compassion and zeal for someone we much prefer to resent.
So, lets get this conversation a-rolling…
Do you agree that it is the cherishing of sins like bitterness that are at the core of prayerlessness?
If yes, explain how you combat this in pursuit of a faithfully prayer life?
If no, please expand on what you believe is the main source of a dead prayer life?