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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Prayer, Context, and Hope

“God’s touch is not only conditioned by who we are becoming, but also by our surroundings. Indeed, if God acted toward us in a totally noncontextualized manner, how could God’s touch guide us given the fact that we, at least, are immersed in our contexts? If I am in a war-torn place, beleaguered by bombs and guns and hunger and cold, and if God touches me with possibilities that have nothing to do with the concreteness of my situation, how is God at all salvific for me? But in a relational, interdependent world, God not only gives to me and receives from me, but also gives and receives directly from every element in my environment. God knows my situation, better than I know it myself. And knowing my situation—my agony, my pain, my fear—God touches me where I am, offering me what forms of transformation are possible even in my dire circumstances. It may not look like much to me in terms of what I wish God could give me—but because God’s touch meets my conditions, it offers me hope” (Marjorie Suchocki, “In God’s Presence,” 25-26).

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Prayer: God uses us

“A relational God, then, depends upon our prayers. But in a world of interdependence, we must recognize that God may use us in answer to our prayers. When we offer ourselves to God though prayers of intercession… we do so realizing that God works through the world for the world. Through prayer, we open ourselves to conformity with God’s great will. And if God touches us at every moment of our lives with directive energy, and if our will joins God’s will in a care toward a particular personal or social situation for well-being, then there is no guarantee that God will not use us to bring about some aspect of that well-being. We risk being used by God as answers to our own prayers” (Marjorie Suchocki, “In God’s Presence,” 50).

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