Why Are Some People Prayer Maniacs?
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
Which do you believe is more powerful-labor or prayer? I have always said, by faith, that prayer is the most important thing one can do. However, when I pray sometimes things happen, but when I labor I almost always get what I work for. So “faith” tells me to believe prayer is the most powerful thing I can do but, to be honest, “experience” seems to say it’s labor.
It is a dilemma, isn’t it? Something C. S. Lewis wrote has drastically altered my view and, therefore, my practice of prayer. The gist of his insight is this: Both work and prayer are forms of causality. Lewis said, “The two methods by which we are allowed to produce events may be called work and labor.” Lewis noted that prayer is actually a more powerful form of causality than our labor. “Prayers are not always granted, not because prayer is a weaker kind of causality, but because it is a stronger kind.” God allows us to receive whatever we labor for, but since prayer is so much more powerful than labor He must put limits on it, or we would destroy ourselves. Lewis pulls it all together with this wonderful illustration:
It is not unreasonable for a headmaster to say, “Such and such things you may do according to the fixed rules of this school. But such and such other things are too dangerous to be left to general rules. If you want to do them you must come and make a request and talk over the whole matter with me in my study. And then-we’ll see. (God in the Dock, Eerdmans, 1970, pps. 104-107)
A friend asked, “What has it done for your prayer life?” Without thinking I blurted out, “I’ve become a prayer maniac.” I honestly believe if you will meditate on this idea that it will make a prayer maniac out of you too.
© 2002 Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use with proper attribution.