Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pray with Both of Your Minds!

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Discerning Prayer!

Doug Small - Project Pray

There is a wonderful old story of a group of blind men who had each found a different part of the same elephant. “What is it?” one cried to another. “A tree,” said the one who had taken hold of the elephant’s leg. “No, a rope,” said the one who had his tail. Each had a different answer – a snake, a fan, a wall, a spear! Each had only a piece of the elephant and not the whole. A cognitive approach in prayer gives you a piece of data, an emotive approach another piece. What is needed is not a left or right brain prayer experience, but a holistic approach.

First, quiet yourself and frame your need for discernment or direction to God in prayer. Describe the problem or the unrealized potential. Detail it. Lay out the pieces as you would with a counselor. Do it audibly, not merely reflectively. Ask God in yes or no termsShould I move? Should we sell this house? Should I marry this person? Should I take this position?

  • Praying with the left brain (Thinking Prayer) – Subordinate the decision to noble life purposes. “God, you are first. I don’t want to do anything to damage my life purpose, your calling, or my relationship with you.” Write down the positive aspects of the choices you have, and then the negative. Are there any indicators here of enhancing or hindering my spiritual life in these choices? Is God in all this? Star the important items. Where is the strength of the list – on the positive or negative side? Is there anything inconsistent with Scripture or your desire to make Christ Lord?
  • Praying with the right brain (Feeling Prayer) – Subordinate the decision to faith. Inventory your feelings. Are you fearful of anything? Write down your responses. Are sensing something that you cannot rationally define? What would you do if the limits were removed? What is wild and dangerous, the daring response? Is there a creative option, an out-of-the-box possibility? Try to “step into” one of the options above – how does it feel? Like trying on a new suit, ask yourself, “Does this fit me?” Gut reactions are telling. Instinct is an important predictor of inner congruity.
  • Praying with the Heart (Sensing Prayer) - What is your heart telling you? Do you sense peace? What is right and noble? What would Jesus do? The heart dreams better than the head does – is this a part of what God has been calling you do? Does it answer an inner yearning? Satisfy a hunger? Respond to a call that has been laid aside or repressed for more rationale choices?===>Click headline to access complete article . . .

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