SUMMARY: What if prayer wasn’t a thing you put on your to do list to knock off, but a practice you continually perform throughout every aspect of your life? What if prayer isn’t about communication with God, but communion? What if praying to God and its effectiveness has nothing to do with our devotion? Through 53-devotionals, Skye Jethani‘s What If Jesus Was Serious…About Prayer? slowly and deliberately challenges us to rethink how many of us view prayer and to enter into a deep communion with God.
“We want to believe that a prayer succeeds or fails because of the person praying–because of a person’s holiness, righteousness, or devotion,” Jethani pens. “But Jesus says it’s not about us at all.”
“Instead, prayer is received and answered because our heavenly Father is holy and righteous, and because He is devoted to us. We do not have to convince God to act on our behalf, and prayer is not a religious way of nagging God. Prayer, at its most fundamental level, is simply asking God to be God.”
Jethani says that many Christians see prayer “as an optional accessary” instead of “the irreplaceable root from which every aspect of the Christian life is nourished and grows” from. We often separate the secular and the sacred, when no such distinction exists.
“We are to integrate our communion with God into all that we do and into every moment of our day,” Jethani writes. “And this integrated vision of prayer better fits the way life works.”
An integrated view of prayer where we are in continual communion with God reorients our worldview. It allows us to see our fellow humans as people made in the image of God worthy of respect and dignity.
“The person who learns to commune deeply with God in prayer…will open her eyes to see a world bathed in His presence,” Jethani says. “She will recognize His image in her neighbor and in her enemy, in the sacred and the ordinary, in the intimate and the immense, in the natural and the architectural.”
KEY QUOTE: “We are to integrate our communion with God into all that we do and into every moment of our day.”
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Short, sweet and packed full of wisdom, What If Jesus Was Serious? is a 72 chapter devotional (with doodles!) that takes aim at Christians who don’t think what Jesus instructs during the Sermon on the Mount is practical or achievable. As a result, author Skye Jethani postulates that our rejection of the commands in the Sermon of the Mount may be part of the reason why the American church lacks credibility with our culture.Read more