A Praying Life: Discussion #8
I believe that this is one of the most pivotal chapters in this book, so we’re going to take a whole session on it! Below are some questions to ponder and answer before you read the chapter.
- What is your greatest mental barrier to simply asking God for what you want?
- Is prayer feeling or fact?
After (or during) your reading of this chapter:
- How do you tend to approach the world: through a knowledge of facts or through your intuitions/feelings (or possibly both–but in what proportion)?
- Does the idea that “feelings are true only for me but facts are true for everyone” (page 104) resonate with you? Do you buy the idea that you can feel that pornography is harmful, but that your neighbor can feel with equal force that he is not harmed by it, so it’s OK for him?
- Do feelings = values? If you think so, where does it say so in God’s Word?
- Note well what Miller is saying here: putting religion (and prayer) into the “feelings” category makes the claims of Christianity no longer universally true for all people. And if that is so, then God does not have a claim on people’s lives. What is the real truth about where the claims that God has on our lives come from?
- Here is a staggeringly important quotation, which sums up our message in Tapestry studies of Year 2, Unit 2, and following: “Secularism is a religious belief that grew out of the pride of human achievement, particularly scientific achievement. It masquerades as science or reality, [as] opposed to religion, which it calls opinion” (106). Think about your life over the last week? Were there situations where you never even thought of asking Father for help because, of course, the facts were… (you fill in the blank)… and religion just doesn’t touch on those facts? I did! The modern mindset permeates our worldview: we can guard against it but it’s almost always lurking!
- “Secularism doesn’t say that religion is not real. It defines it as not real. Once you’ve defined it as not real, then it isn’t even an item for discussion” (108). Wow. So true of the modern worldview. Do you feel hampered in your ability to share the gospel with the stranger sitting with you in the waiting room because, well, religion is personal, not real? In a hundred ways a day, God’s glory is obscured by this mindset. Take some time. Ponder. Where in your life does the secular definition of Christian truths mean that God is not honored as He deserves to be?
- Did the “by the way…” information that ends this chapter cause you to tear up? It does me. I am like that when I see God being exalted to a position that He should have held all along. There’s a deep sense of justice that comes with seeing the lies that so easily entangle our souls. What did you glean from this chapter? Care to share with us other children?
Below are links that will help you navigate the discussions easier. (You can also use the Archives section of this blog.)
Discussion #7 for this book.
Discussion #9 for this book.