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A Praying Life, Chapter 7


Chapter 7: "Crying 'Abba'—Continuously" | Week of April 22, 2018


“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1


REFLECT:

Does the churn of your thoughts feel unending, constantly pulling you in a million directions yet never seeming to find rest? Last week, we saw Jesus' invitation to find rest and grace, and in chapter 7 of A Praying Life, Paul Miller connects this idea of rest – particularly for our busy thought lives – to finding our reference point in ongoing prayer.

The apostle Paul tells us that because we are God's children through faith in Christ, “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'” (Galatians 4:6). The word "Abba" in Aramaic would be similar to "Dad" in English. It is a title that communicates both intimacy and respect for one's father. As Miller explains: "We know the word abba because it burned itself on the disciples' minds. They were so stunned—no one had ever spoken to God so intimately before—that when they told the Greek Christians about Jesus, they carried over the Aramaic abba into the Greek translations of the Bible. This so shocked Paul that he used abba in both Romans and Galatians." (Page 53)

Does it shock you to know that you have immediate, intimate access to the God of the universe the way that a little child does to her parents? Now, consider this: How often do you actually make use of this amazing access you've been granted? 

RESPOND:

What would it take for you to develop a habit of short, regular prayers through the course of your day? Spend some time thinking through how you might do this. As an example, perhaps you have a repetitive aspect to your job that allows your mind to wander. Why not harness that time to talk to God, even simply, instead of letting your thoughts run wild? Spend a little time identifying natural areas where you might repurpose a few seconds here and there to connect with your Father, the Creator of the universe. 

PRAY NOW:

On page 56, Paul Miller shares a prayer from the 5th century: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Begin with this prayer today.  It's a great place to begin, because it acknowledges clearly who Jesus is, who you are, and the foundation of your relationship to him: his mercy and grace as the only one who can grant it. Pray it today as often as you think of it, not as a ritual but as a place to center your heart properly upon Christ.   

PRAY LATER:

Pray for this Tuesday's Halawai and the many neighbors in need who will benefit from the array of services that will be gathered at Daybreak on Tuesday morning, April 25. Pray that people who are in need will hear about this event and come, not only this month, but on the last Tuesday of every month.  

PRAY AS A FAMILY:

We pray to “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:6) Talk as a family about how God is a perfect father who guides us, teaches us, protects us and loves us. Pray together that you will understand God as Father even better as a family.

Tags : prayer, devotional