PRAYER IS NOT INTROSPECTION: IT IS BETTER
In Part 1 of this series, we observed that most of us don’t take the time to think because don’t want to contemplate our own inadequacies. Yet, we do need to stop to think. This is why Socrates refused to compromise with fellow Greeks and would not stop asking them contemplate ideas — beliefs — they preferred to ignore.
Some one will say: Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you? Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that to do as you say would be a disobedience to the God, and therefore that I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say again that daily to discourse about virtue, and of those other things about which you hear me examining myself and others, is the greatest good of man, and that the unexamined life is not worth living, you are still less likely to believe me. Yet I say what is true, although a thing of which it is hard for me to persuade you. (from APOLOGY By Plato translated by Benjamin Jowett)
Disobedience to God? Discourse about virtue? Socrates asked himself and others probing questions. His questions forced people into contemplation, and they hated him for it. So, they forced him to commit suicide.
Consider what it means to escape. Into fantasy. Sex. Partying. Work. The glorification of our self. What are we escaping from? Is it not the fact we need a Savior? The world is too big, and we are too small. Death awaits us no matter what we do. And we are too sinful to deserve anything else. Therefore, we don’t want to think about the fact God is just.
What should we think about? “Me”? No. We should think about God. We should pray.
Prayer is not introspection.
It is not a scrupulous, inward-looking analysis of our own thoughts and feelings but it is an attentiveness to the Presence of Love personified inviting us to an encounter.
Prayer is the presentation of our thoughts—reflective, as well as daydreams, and night dreams—to the One who receives them, sees them in the light of unconditional love, and responds to them with divine compassion.
This context of thinking in the Presence, of conversation and dialogue with Love, is the joyful affirmation of our gentle Companion on the journey with God who knows our minds and hearts, our goodness and our beauty, out darkness and our light. (from here (cct.biola.edu))
The author of the excerpt above points to Psalm 139. In this psalm, David begs God for help. David wants God to help him rid himself of his imperfections.
Psalm 139:23-24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any [a]hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
Instead of just seeing everything from our own point of view, we should quietly turn to God and see ourselves as our Lord sees us. We should be still and know our Maker, make His thoughts our thoughts.
As we live our lives, we should constantly seek His guidance.
Micah 6:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
- Prayer is not introspection… (themercyblog.blogspot.com)
- The right way to be introspective (yes, there’s a wrong way) (ideas.ted.com)
- Introspection In Psychology: Wundt’s Experimental Technique (verywellmind.com)
- Walking With God (biblereasons.com)
- How to Walk with God (biblestudytools.com)
- The Secret of Walking with God (christianitytoday.com)
- What does it mean to walk with God? (gotquestions.org)
To Be Continued
NO TIME TO THINK — PART 3: The Choice: Busywork Or Peace And Contentment?