Posts Tagged ‘Soren Kirkegaard’

Soren Kirkegaard said : “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”   I read this years ago, liked it, and promptly forgot about it, but I found it again in another blog I follow last week and it has been haunting me.  It is so true, and yet I still pray for selfish reasons because I am in pain and want God to help me.  Most of the time I remember to not pray for things but for the strength I need, but my prayer life is still selfish.  I want something.

Is this a bad thing?  I chastise myself on a regular basis for being selfish, but in many ways, self interest is what motivates humanity.  I think we humans often do good deeds because we want to feel good about ourselves, and I am not so sure this is wrong.  In fact, in recent times, I have taken to wondering about things that are right and things that are wrong.  Who am I to know?  To be sure, I think it is a bad thing to kill, and a good thing to love and give help to others.  But beyond that, there are so many gray areas, and I have spent so much of my life wishing I had the “right answers” to things.

Perhaps there are no right answers — at least not specifically.  How many times have we thought something was right only to find out later that it wasn’t at all.   Who is making the judgment call?  We can even do right things for wrong reasons at times, and vise versa, I suspect.  My  life seems to go best when I simply keep telling myself that I am doing the best I can with what I have been given.  Life is what it is.  It is often not what we would like it to be.  Oddly enough, it is generally what we need it to be, but we rarely realize this until a lot of time has passed.

Has praying changed me?  Oh yes!  I haven’t prayed in order to obtain those changes — and sometimes I even have prayed because I didn’t want to change.    But praying does indeed change the nature of the one who prays.

Brown sunslowers - Version 2

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