Why pray? Evidently, God likes to be asked. God certainly does not need our wisdom or our knowledge, nor even the information contained in our prayers ("your Father knows what you need before you ask him"). But by inviting us into the partnership of creation, God also invites us into relationship. God is love, said the apostle John. God does not merely have love or feel love. God is love and cannot not love. As such, God yearns for relationship with the creatures made in his image.
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APAPhilip Yancey Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=why-pray-evidently-god-likes-to-be-asked-god-certainly-does-not-need-our-wisdom-our-knowledge-nor-even-information-contained-in-our-prayers-your-philip-yancey
ChicagoPhilip Yancey Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=why-pray-evidently-god-likes-to-be-asked-god-certainly-does-not-need-our-wisdom-our-knowledge-nor-even-information-contained-in-our-prayers-your-philip-yancey, accessed .
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Christians have an important role to play in contending that no human life is "devoid of value." We can do so through courageous protest, as happened in Germany, as well, as in compassionate care for the most vulnerable members of society, as Mother Teresa did. In both approaches theology - what one believes about God and human life - matters. The world desperately needs that good news.
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Capitalism rules worldwide, and a society whose economic fabric depends on constant growth requires that its citizens have ever-expanding needs and wants... In the West, it will take one with soul force equal to Gandhi's to change the prevailing dogma of ever increasing GNP. We may be forced to change our profligate ways some day, when the soil is depleted, the aquifers drained, the icecaps melted, and all the oil wells pumped dry. But the crisis will wait another fifty years or so; we'll leave those problems to a generation yet unborn.
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John Wesley taught that the gospel of Christ involved more than saving souls. It should have an impact on all of society, and his followers worked to accomplish just that. They were dispensing grace to the broader world, and in the process their spirit helped change a nation, saving it from the revolutionary chaos that had spread across Europe.
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Christians fail to communicate to others because we ignore basic principles in relationship. When we make condescending judgments or proclaim lofty words that don't translate into action, or simply speak without first listening, we fail to love - and thus deter a thirsty world from Living Water. The good news about God's grace goes unheard.
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Thunderously, inarguably, the Sermon on the Mount proves that before God we all stand on level ground: murderers and temper-throwers, adulterers and lusters, thieves and coveters. We are all desperate, and that is in fact the only state appropriate to a human being who wants to know God. Having fallen from the absolute Ideal, we have nowhere to land but in the safety net of absolute grace.
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Faith is not simply a private matter, or something we practice once a week at church. Rather, it should have a contagious effect on the broader world. Jesus used these images to illustrate His kingdom.: a sprinkle of yeast causing the whole loaf to rise, a pinch of salt preserving a slab of meat, the smallest seed in the garden growing into a great tree in which birds of the air come to nest.
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God reproduces and lives out His image in millions of ordinary people like us. It is a supreme mystery. We are called to bear that image as a Body because any one of us taken individually would present an incomplete image, one partly false and always distorted, like a single glass chip hacked from a mirror. But collectively, in all our diversity, we can come together as a community of believers to restore the image of God in the world.
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The church works best not as a power center, rather as a countercultural community - in the world but not of it - that shows others how to live the most fulfilled and meaningful life on earth. In modern society that means rejecting the false gods of independence, success, and pleasure and replacing them with love for God and neighbor.
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Our confused society badly needs a community of contrast, a counterculture of ordinary pilgrims who insist living a different way. Unlike popular culture, we will lavish attention on the least "deserving" in direct opposition to our celebrity culture's emphasis on success, wealth, and beauty.
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Someone asked the Swiss physician & author Paul Tournier how he helped his patients get rid of their fears. He replied, 'I don't. Everything that's worthwhile in life is scary. Choosing a school, choosing a career, getting married, having kids--all those things are scary. If it is not fearful, it is not worthwhile.'
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