Yesterday I came across an interview with Timothy Keller, author of the new book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. In that discussion, click here to read it all, the interviewer recalled a question Keller received earlier on twitter: “Why do you think young Christian adults struggle most deeply with God as a personal reality in their lives?” Keller response was profound: “Noise and distraction. It is easier to Tweet than pray!”
I thought about Keller’s response all day. How can that be? Could the reason people don’t have a meaningful relationship with the Creator of the universe be something so simple, so basic? But then when I began to look at my own life, and remembered two prominent values in our culture today, I realized the profound truth of that statement.
We live in a culture that abhors solitude and embraces distractions. In other words, we’re afraid to be alone, and we must always be busy! Ironically, Keller will declare in his book the two things needed for meaningful prayer are solitude and the Word of God. Did you catch that: to be successful at prayer means we must be counter-cultural because silence and a singular focus on the One your meeting with are essential for genuine communication with God.
May I ask you some of the questions I asked myself yesterday?
- How noisy is your world?
- Are you so distracted by the trivial things of the world that have such little value, yet they’re keeping you from the One who is to be valued above all?
- Is it time to ‘unplug’ so you can ‘plug-in’ to the One you need to hear from?
I pray Keller’s words disturb you too today.
“And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12 (NASB)