Reason 5: loss of control. Prayer requires me to give myself into the hands of the Other, but I’d much rather be self-determining.
Richard Rohr says that there are five difficult messages we need to learn:
- Life is hard.
- You are going to die.
- You are not that important.
- You are not in control.
- Your life is not about you.
Do I dare to give up this much sense of self and agency?
Of course, there is the potential for great comfort and relief in this: I can relax my grip on what I (fondly, but mistakenly) think of as ‘my’ life.
… it does not really matter what we understand about ourselves or our context so long as we put ourselves in God’s hands. … God coming to us where we are; we surrendering in total trust from where we are . . . it is simple enough.Ruth Burrows: Guidelines for Mystical Prayer, p.44
What God is waiting for is not a right conclusion about a matter but our suppleness in falling into his hands for him to work in us.Benedicta Ward: Discernment: A Rare Bird
Previously in series: Reasons not to pray: 4.