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Sierra Pines Church

12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

Eugene Peterson, the translator of The Message, points out something powerful about prayer as he seeks to explain the elusive “Middle Voice” in the Greek language. 

“My grammar book said, ‘The middle voice is that use of the verb which describes the subjects participating in the results of the action.’  I read that now, and it reads like a description of Christian prayer—the subject is participating in the results of the action. I do not control the action; that is a pagan concept of prayer, putting the gods to work by my incantations or rituals. I am not controlled by the action; that is a Hindu concept of prayer in which I slump passively into the impersonal and fated will of the gods and goddesses. I enter into the action begun by another, my creating and saving Lord, and find myself participating in the results of the action.  I neither do nor have done to me: I will participate in what is willed.”(Page 114, Yancey Prayer.)

God could handle the issues of the world and the people in it quite capably by Himself, but He chooses to involve us by our prayers and our actions for our benefit and growth. When my kids were growing up, they liked to “help” me in the kitchen. (In fact, now that they are grown, my son is the best cook—better than all of us!) I remember the pressing, busy nights when one of the kids would wander into the kitchen, pull a stool up to the counter and ask me to show them how to do something. So many times it was so much easier to just do it, but they wanted to be part of the process. When dinner was ready, whoever volunteered was quick to take credit, but the work I had to do behind the scenes to make that happen was enormous! Still they participated in the results. I think it’s like that with God. He could bat an eyelash and make it all happen, but He will go to great lengths to involve us the process, for our growth and good. That’s makes us pretty special to Him, don’t you think?


April 15, 2016 @09:59 am

One of your best posts, yet.

April 15, 2016 @09:55 am

This is so cool. Not only about the truth of prayer, but also a good lesson in apologetics regarding New Age and cult religions. Thank you for this!

April 13, 2016 @01:24 pm

Please do, Joan!

Linda H.
April 13, 2016 @01:23 pm

This is such a perfect picture of our place in prayer...may I share this at our next staff meeting at my organization? I know everyone will be blessed by it.

April 13, 2016 @01:22 pm



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