Prayer as Consent

If we are honest, most of us have to admit that prayer is often more of an obligation than something arising spontaneously from desire . . . the core of the misunderstanding lies in thinking of prayer as something that we do. Understood more correctly, prayer is what God does in us. Our part has much more to do with consent than initiative . . .

Teresa of Avila says that the important thing in prayer is not to think much but to love much. The head is not a bad place to start our prayer journey. But if prayer stays there too long and does not begin to sink to the heart, it will inevitably become arid and frustrating.

David G. Benner in Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer


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  1. Thanks for this reminder. When I find myself saying, “I wish I could pray more” or “I wish I could make more time to pray,” it seems God’s initial response is often, “You just did.”