Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Eugene Peterson: Practice Resurrection 10


One of the best things I’ve ever heard on prayer comes from Eugene Peterson’s new book, Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ 
“But here’s the thing: prayer is personal language or it is nothing. 
God is personal, emphatically personal: three-personed personal.
When we use impersonal language in this most personal of all relations, the language doesn’t work” (156).
Think about it. The Psalms is a collection of personal prayers, sometimes so deeply personal these prayers make us squirm or wonder if they should be said aloud. But isn’t that the whole point of prayer?
Impersonal prayer is prayer shaped to say the right thing to the ears who are listening in the congregation; personal prayer opens the heart to God.
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John W Frye

posted April 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I agree. Peterson’s take in many of his books on prayer is so refreshing. I like his 3 categories of speech: 1) to define things: rock, dog, man, lipstick, briefcase, etc. and 2) to make things happen: go, stop, buy, talk, run, etc. and 3) to commune, i.e., to enrich relationship. Prayer is category three…so it can be and must be honest speech. A brilliant CEO making nonsense noises to his newborn child isn’t defining anything or making anything happen, he in all his brilliance is building a meaningful relationship with his child. Communion is happening. Prayer.

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Stephen Mook

posted April 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Amen Scot…
Along with the Psalms, Jesus own prayers seem to be filled with personal language.
This book has been a real treasure to me, and I believe for the whole church. Thanks for taking the time to bring your reflections on this book to this community!

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