Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Path of Celtic Prayer
by Calvin Miller
Given to me by my daughter Grace

"Human beings are innate believers. While agnostics are sometimes celebrated for their unsure notions about God, atheism isn't likely to take hold in any permanent way. Why? Because we are so needy, helpless and insecure that we remain obsessed with something or Someone greater than ourselves. Not only are we needy, we hurry our lives deathward in a dead heat with that great universal clock that is destined to outrun us. We live face to face with our temporariness. And while we are trapped in the busy, empty now, we are convinced there must be - or must have been- a day when God seemed nearer and more accessible.
Our discontentment with our present affairs keeps us looking backward, hungering for times in our lives when we experienced God as clearly present. Even our casual reading tastes have found us out. The recent rash of novels about Christ's second coming may be popular because they hold forth a kind of promise that when Jesus comes again, all the pain of our empty age will be swallowed up in the warm presence of God. But at the foundation of such hope lies a reality much greater than current popular fiction. We-at least in our searching moments-want Jesus to come again. Why? We are eager for union with Christ. The second coming promises an end to our roller-coast relationship with God."
It is opening thoughts like these that make me read the introduction from books. The two paragraphs are the beginning of the introduction to Miller's book.

Miller goes on to talk about our longing for God and how we are like junkies looking for a God fix. So, this "living face to face with our temporariness" makes me think that yes, I want something more. I believe in eternity and in eternal things. It rings true for me that life is short, so it is best to work things out with those we love. We long for God to do what can't be worked out to intervene for us and sometimes we cry out like David and ask that He would just obliterate our enemies.


One of the elements of this book is a reminder that we (Christians) serve a triune God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: One God in Three persons. It is not something to easily get our heads around. There are many things about God that I don't think I will ever understand. God is of the main goals in my walk through this life is to gain knowledge of the Holy One and it is a good chance that I am half way through my life, my knowledge is minimal.
In the virtual world I list my religious views as "seeing through a mirror dimly." It is all vague while dealing with the flesh. So much gets in the way including my own bent in addressing God in one way instead of another.
One of the things instilled in me growing up in the Catholic Church was that I serve the God three in one (and I am not talking about Jesus, Mary and Joseph) but most things are done in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The author suggested that we don't forget any of the persons that make up Our God. One way to remember is to address all three in prayer. I tend to address God as "Heavenly Father" most often. Other times, I call Him Lord or Lord Jesus. I can't say that I address God as the Holy Spirit too often.
There are a number of prayers woven throughout the book. One I have committed to memory and have started using it to begin my day.
"I awake in the name of the Father who made me,
I arise in the name of the Son who died to save me,
I rise up to greet the dawn in the name of the Spirit who gives me abundant life."


The book is organized around 6 different types of prayer. The other five are Scripture Prayer, Long, Wandering prayer, Nature Prayer, Lorica Prayer and Confessional Prayer. Miller is inspiring, deep, informative and helps me to pause. He has introduced me to new thoughts about prayer. For those who want to strengthen their prayer life, I would high recommend, The Path of Celtic Prayer An Ancient Way to Everyday Joy by Calvin Miller.

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