On Prescribing Relationship with God (Article)

Concerning pre-conceived or popular notions and prescriptions regarding how one carries on relationship with God… For example:

The following people wrote their prayers to God: David (73 different Psalms) Moses (Psalm # 90) Solomon (2 Psalms, # 72 & 127) The family of Asaph (12 Psalms, # 50, 73-83) The family of Korah (10 Psalms, # 42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87) Heman (Psalm # 88) Ethan (Psalm # 89) And 50 other prayers by unspecified authors.

We don’t know if these people wrote all, or most, or some, or few of their prayers; but at least 150 have been canonized as Scripture. (One of the Dead sea Scrolls { 11QPsa } attributes 3600 prayers to David.)

For these people, committing their prayers to writing was a major aspect of their relationship with God – at least, that’s the aspect of their relationship with God we know the most about – their written prayers. In carrying on their relationship with God, these people dictated these prayers to scribes! Consider that! Also consider that these prayers were recorded, repeated, shared publicly, and passed down from generation to generation.

I think we can conclude that God likes this. He has seen fit to preserve these written prayers for thousands of years to be translated into hundreds of languages.

Is this an aspect of your relationship with God? Am I suggesting that we should write prayers to God? Maybe we should. But that is just one aspect for consideration. What I am suggesting is this: In my circles, and I believe in most circles, the idea of writing prayers to God would be looked on today as “liturgical”, too formal, lacking intimacy, even symptomatic of lacking “authentic” relationship with God.

But, maybe our concept of an “authentic’ relationship with God is based less on true authenticity and more on pre-conceived and popular notions and prescriptions.

Maybe we are unconsciously insisting that relationship with God fit into some narrow mold which seriously limits our potentialities for knowing God.

And just as sadly, maybe limiting ourselves to pre-conceived and popular notions and prescriptions distracts us from unique directions and devotions which God intended for us to develop as individuals. With seemingly infinite variety in the creation, it seems to me God would be desiring more than cookie-cutter relationships. So, what are the particular ways am I suggesting that we carrying on relationship with God? My point is to not be limited to pre-conceived and popular prescriptions; therefore, I’m not prescribing any particular ways.

What I am suggesting is this: Consider all the various spiritual disciplines (holy habits). We should desire to have a well-rounded relationship with God, and therefore we should desire to be devoted to a number of spiritual disciplines. But we should also be open and humble enough to learn from others what they have learned about God through their devotion to particular spiritual disciplines. Suggested reading: There are many books on the subject by Richard Foster, Donald Whitney, Dallas Willard, and others.

But we should also embrace those particular spiritual disciplines which we find most “natural” to ourselves – that is, those which we find ourselves almost unconsciously gravitating towards – those spiritual activities for which we are highly motivated to do and are passionate about. I am not suggesting a “specialist” mindset, but rather embracing the uniqueness which God intended for each of His children. (Suggested reading: “Sacred Pathways” by Gary L. Thomas.)

I’ll use myself as an example: Last night I fell asleep thinking about these things. And soon as I awoke this morning, I grabbed a cup of coffee and began to develop my thoughts into written words. I’ve been reflecting and writing on this for hours now. Why? Because I believe that in this way God is relating to me and I am relating to Him. This is His desire for our relationship. And I embrace and highly value that.

I don’t see the sense in trying to conform to some pre-conceived and popular prescriptions on how we should be relating to God. I want to be and do what God created me to be and do. Don’t you?

Consider these two translations of Galatians 6:4 …

“But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.” Amplified Bible

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” The Message


At Christ’s Table – ACTpublications

“Explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

© 2015

W.D. Furioso, Writer ~ Frances Furioso, Editor

At Christ’s Table Ministries ~ ACTpublications ~  https://www.AtChristsTable.org

 ACTpublications may be freely shared, reproduced, and distributed – unaltered, in digital or print formats. Any quotations or excerpts must also be unaltered and referenced with the above information.

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