“Prayer: Does it Make any Difference?”

by Philip Yancey
Study with Anne Griffith, Founder, The Enlighten Foundation

Chapter 1: Our Deepest Longing

Page 13: Philip quotes Thomas Merton, “Prayer is an expression of who we are…We are a living incompleteness. We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment.”

I am an emotional eater. If something hits me wrong or someone slights me (which happens far too often 😉), I seek the solace of food, my personal ticket to feeling better. But all that really gave me was an extra 25 pounds. Years ago, I realized that just about everyone has that same emptiness and it’s not in your stomach. And most of us try to fill it with something.

1. What’s your emptiness?

2. What is the trigger that makes you search for something to fill you?

3. Do you think prayer has the “strength” to calm that trigger?

    a. Why? Or why not?

Page 15: Philip states: “We have less and less time for conversation, let alone contemplation. We have the constant sensation of not enough; not enough time, not enough rest, not enough exercise, not enough leisure. Where does God fit into a life that already seems behind schedule?”

I can’t think of a single person who isn’t struggling with this same issue. In fact, we have a great topic in The Enlighten Foundation Journey called My Geography. It specifically goes into carving out time and space to make sense of our crazy lives. With the added insights of this book we begin flipping around our priorities to incorporate prayer with the Lord first. The difference in that priority makes all the difference in the amount of time and space we have as we face each day.

1. Have you ever thought that you really didn’t know what being a follower of Christ meant for you and your daily life?

2. Do you wonder what God had in mind when God created you? Do you continually ask God that question?

3. At the end of the day, do you find yourself wondering what you did all day?

4. Do you put the Lord into your daily communication? Or do you find yourself letting that slip by?

5. What does Philip mean when he says that “prayer has features in common with all relationships that matter?” (p.17)

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