Sound-bite prayers — we don’t make the time to think

By Dave Henning / September 27, 2017

“Nor do we think to speak to him [God] in much more than sound-bite prayers.  We can’t think to do so,  because we don’t make the time to think of much more than sound bites to say.”- Jared C. Wilson

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”- Luke 5:16 (NIV)

In Chapter 5 (“The Rhythm of Spilling Your Guts”) of The Imperfect Disciple, Jared Wilson notes our constant connection to artificial noise gradually quenches our spirit.   Furthermore, as John Ortberg observes in The Life You’ve Always Wanted, we suffer from “hurry sickness.”  John astutely adds that “one of the great illusions of our day is that hurrying will buy us more time.”

As a result, Jared states, we may be too busy “living” to enjoy abiding in Christ.  Also, since we turn up the volume on our routines, we find it hard to hear God’s still small voice.  Or even His booming, declarative voice.  Instead, the gods of this world command our attention.  In addition, we only think to talk to God in sound-bite prayers.

Therefore, Pastor Wilson asserts, we must bathe all our daily activites in prayer.  In that way, we keep ourselves tuned to God throughout our routines.  That enables us to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

However, Jared cautions we must not attempt that sort of prayer practice apart from the practice of solitary, focused prayer.  Unless we practice both types of prayer, the author states, we’re not “feasting on God’s presence, but just giving him crumbs.”  In other words, we’re multitasking prayer.

Most importantly, multitasking prayer inhibits the very process we think it helps- efficiency.  In conclusion, Pastor Wilson reminds us what happens if we only pray when we’re doing other things.   He states that “we program ourselves toward spiritual distortion and relational imbalance with God.”

Today’s question: How often do you utilize sound-bite prayers?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Commit to times of intentional solitude”

About the author

Dave Henning

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