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Philip Yancey, “Prayer”

When I walked out of the office last night, I was really happy that I could take a break on weekends and did not have to think of work for two days.  Another tough week has passed. What about the next week? I really don’t know but it’s no use to worry about the things that are yet to come.  The Bible said, “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry aobout its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”(Matthew 7:34) And that really makes sense and it can help you live with less pressure.

I just finished reading Philip Yancey’s book Prayer and I am still in the moment of recollecting my impressions about the book.  I started reading it a few months ago and the progress was a bit slow. When I finished it I could barely remember what the first chapter was saying, but it is really a special book on this topic.  It is not an instruction about how we should pray, but the discussion in the book tells me more about prayers, about what other people’s prayer life is like, how they feel, how they keep company with invisible God and keep their faith.  I felt a great relief when I read those stories from Yancey’s readers around the world. It made me feel I am not alone in having those feelings or questions they have about praying.

If you google Philip Yancey, you will find that he is a Christian writer, but his books on religious topics usually have a tone that sounds like a researcher rather than a pastor.  This pilgrim’s attitude makes his books stand out from others as he is willing to discuss the struggles, difficulties many Christ’s followers have been experiencing while following the Christ. When he describes his personal struggle with praying and his life story, his sharing is sincere and encouraging.  It makes me know more about my Lord, and it strengthens my faith in Him.  It helps me relax spiritually, and it renews my understanding about prayers.  From my own experience, when I stop seeing praying as homework but a time with a friend, or a time for reflection and contemplation, my feeling about it is radically changed.  Although this “friend” is invisible all the time, gradually I feel okay with it and enjoy the amazing company of Him.  Just like being with a visible friend, the relationship can be up and down, but the link is still there, ineffaceable.

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