My third and final post in a three-part review of the new book “Wonderstruck” by Margaret Feinberg.
Have you ever prayed this prayer?
What would you expect if you did?
I have enjoyed every chapter of my sneak peek of Wonderstruck, but reading Margaret’s comments, insights, and experiences about prayer in chapter 5 resonated with me in a special way. Here are a few examples:
During a process of making changes to her prayer time, she said:
“Though I never outwardly admitted to such practices, my new time with God exposed a deep-seated belief that if I just prayed long enough or was more articulate or heartfelt then God would answer.” Wonderstruck, page 78
“I’d lost sight of God as a loving Father—whose favor I didn’t need to earn, whose attention I didn’t need to procure; God’s eyes were already on me, his hands already extended to help.” Wonderstruck, page 79
It’s difficult to wait a long time for God to answer a prayer, or sometimes even to wait at all when we’re in a hurry and God isn’t. Whether I’m being impatient or insecure – praying longer, more eloquently, or thinking I need to earn God’s favor, God’s time frame doesn’t change. Or change how much He loves me.
“God sits enthroned, ready to listen, to help.” Wonderstruck, page 85
“We do not cry out to an unknown God; our petitions are not sent “To Whom It May Concern” but are addressed to a father who abounds in love.” Wonderstruck, page 86
God is our Loving Father. He extends a holy invitation for us to spend time with Him, talk to Him, and expect Him to reveal Himself as wonderful.
Using an illustration about artisans, Margaret’s thoughts about prayer challenge me to look even closer at how I approach prayer. Or actually, how I approach God:
“Even the simplest items take on artisanal flair when someone cares enough about the process of creating the product. The image of the artisan illustrates much of what was taking place in my prayer life: namely, moving away from rambling, mass-produced prayers that cost me next to nothing to a richer, handcrafted prayer life. Like the artisans, I knew prayer was more than just the end product—receiving an answer from God.” Wonderstruck, page 80
We can do a lot of talking and still not say anything; but we don’t have to try to impress God either:
“How often have I rattled on with God and said nothing at all? Relying on clichés, throwaway phrases, and high language I’d never use in everyday conversation, I took prayer for granted and lost sight of the wondrous opportunity to draw close to God.” Wonderstruck, page 89
Wonderstruck releases on Christmas day; these questions would make a great New Year’s challenge (or resolution) that could change our prayer lives, infusing them with God’s wonder in 2013:
“How much are you really saying to God when you pray? Where has “nonversation” replaced conversation in your prayers? What slight shifts in your own prayer life could reignite your relationship with God?” Wonderstruck, page 89
I want my prayer life to be wonderstruck by God, and to see God revealed as Wonderful.
“The wonder of prayer is rediscovered in who we’re speaking to. Prayer is a mystical event by which we get to talk to the Creator of all—the One who fashioned our world with a few words—knowing that God not only listens but answers.” Wonderstruck, page 89
This has been an unusually hectic Christmas season for me; a schedule crammed full of obligations and responsibilities, plus several funerals in the space of a few short weeks. That was in addition to my ongoing battle with a very painful cancer, fighting a bout of the flu, and health issues with both of my parents that required surgeries. I’ll admit it was a struggle to remember to look for and expect moments of God’s wonder in the midst of it all. But God is faithful, and I saw His hand in many ways, even as one exhausting day seemed to blend into the next.
The graphic below from Margaret Feinberg sums it up well. When I took time to pause and look up, whether it was morning, night, or in between, His wonders were displayed in the Heavens; a beautiful sunset, brilliant stars on a clear night, and shooting stars (a meteor shower). Many other moments of His wonder were displayed in the form of His grace, mercy, strength, and encouragement.
And most importantly, the wonder of the Reason for this Season – celebrating the birth of God’s Son, Jesus.
Immanuel – God with us.
Seize every opportunity to encounter Him.
Margaret recently posted a great warning on her site that those who have read Wonderstruck have experienced the following symptoms:
– An inability to stop smiling
– An uncontainable desire to pray
– A loss of interest in judging others
– A quiet, unshakable confidence in God
– A renewed ability to see the wonders of God all around
There’s only a couple of days left to take advantage of the wonderful pre-pub offer and order the book for $7.57 ($14.99 retail) at Amazon, and get some great free downloads. Find out more about Wonderstruck and the incredible promo offer of up to $300 of free stuff by visiting www.margaretfeinberg.com/wonderstruckFollow @learning2hear