The value question
Cyber-traffic never sleeps. News, gossip and content on any topic are just a click away. The information flow is strong, and it’s easy to be swept along by the current. That’s why it’s good to use the value question: what is really important to me – being informed, or transformed?
There’s some truth in Francis Bacon’s aphorism, Knowledge is power, but the real merit isn’t in having it but in what we do with it.
We’re information consumers. That’s not all bad. But the line gets blurred between what we need and what we don’t.
The value question helps keep our wisdom filter in place. The Spirit of wisdom trains us to distinguish between worth and waste, between what serves Christ’s purpose and what doesn’t. In Christ, we are informed to be transformed (and so become agents of transformation).
Prayer life transformation
Because prayer is at the CORE of life in and for Christ, it’s our most urgent area for constant transformation.
There’s a global rise of prayer interest. Praise the Lord! Yet it’s possible to be always learning about prayer without actually being transformed as pray-ers.
A wealth of seminars, books, online courses, blogs and discussion forums on prayer are available. Wonderful! But, we have to come back to the value question: informed, or transformed? Are the resources simply making us more informed about prayer, or transforming us as pray-ers?
Collecting information about prayer is good, but wasted if uncoupled from prayer life growth. Our big challenge lies in funneling what we know about prayer (from our expanding files of info) into prayer life experience. It’s true, the growth journey can be inconvenient, even costly. But the Lord has designed it to be enjoyable. How we look at it depends on WHY we do it. I touched on this in Want a better prayer life.
Interest vs passion
Prayer interest can be satisfied by information, but prayer passion wants more. It reaches for change, for a deeper agreement and intimacy with Glory (see Close-up conversation).
We know how easily mood swings, distractions, and shifting circumstances can unhinge good prayer intentions. But, it’s less likely when our hearts are fixed on being changed as pray-ers. Christ has liberated us for a Spirit-nurtured passion to know and serve Glory more. That makes us selective about what information we allow in, and intentional about working it into our journey as pray-ers in transformation.
When we pick up a fresh prayer teaching, insight or resource it’s always good to read it through the value question lens: informed, or transformed? An action question follows: how can this help me take formation steps that will grow my prayer life?
- Review things you have read or heard about prayer over the past few months. It might mean actually re-visiting a website, returning to a book, re-reading a scripture or reviewing a personal journal entry.
- Note any growth content; anything that can build into your journey as a pray-er.
- Plan how to work the information into prayer life growth. (Sometimes transformation happens through leaps, but usually through small deliberate steps).
- Pray over those steps; ask the Spirit’s enabling for your (enjoyable) transformation as a pray-er.
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