“Unceasing Prayer” by Henri Nouwen

I received this great quote about prayer by Henri Nouwen from Rich Halvorson with Global Fast:

“To pray, I think, does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or to spend time with God instead of spending time with other people. Rather, it means to think and live in the presence of God. As soon as we begin to divide our thoughts about God and thoughts about people and events, we remove God from our daily life and put him into a pious little niche where we can think pious thoughts and experience pious feelings. … Although it is important and even indispensable for the spiritual life to set apart time for God and God alone, prayer can only become unceasing prayer when all our thoughts —beautiful or ugly, high or low, proud or shameful, sorrowful or joyful —can be thought in the presence of God. … Thus, converting our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer moves us from a self-centered monologue to a God-centered dialogue.” – Henri Nouwen

Comments
  • callista

    i like this one, also, from nouwen:
    “Prayer and action, therefore, can never be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive. Prayer without action grows into powerless pietism, and action without prayer degenerates into questionable manipulation. If prayer leads us into a deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service. And if concrete acts of service do indeed lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always give rise to prayer. In prayer we meet Christ, and in him all human suffering. In service we meet people, and in them the suffering Christ.”

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