Monday, June 09, 2008

Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word - a prayer analogy?

NCC along with lots of other churches have started this summer long series entitled "One Prayer" and Pastor Mark led us off this week with is message. If he only had one prayer that he knew God would answer, he'd want the Church to be prayerful. Sorta like wishing for 100 extra wishes from the genie, isn't it?

His message was really inspiring and I got a lot from it. I'm gonna start prayer walking around the rooftop terrace for the next 40 days. And it never occurred to me that it is important to have a consistent prayer life because not only are you talking to God, but God knows when he'll be able to reach you next.

But the thing that stuck with me most was that prayer was analogous to "downloading from God" or, even better, "file sharing with God."

As a techie guy, this really struck a chord with me. I realized that my prayer life is a lot like how I use Microsoft Word. I write the entire article, save it and then email the whole thing off to the recipient, asking for feedback or blessing. I pray like that. I "write" my entire prayer without input from God. I just send it off and hope that he'll either send it back with massive re-writes or bless it. We don't collaborate. We don't build anything together. Instead, we have a more professional relationship. I write, he edits. End of story.

But what if my prayer life was more like Google Docs? Google Docs is an online collaborative effort. You invite others to join you as you write and then work on the document AT THE SAME TIME. So my spelling is immediately fixed. The tone of the paragraph can change with just a slight tweak. The better words are chosen. The ideas are clearer and more concise. And, amazingly, the job is less of a hassle. I feel like I am building something with someone rather than the alternative of building something and having my editor tear it down.

What if my prayer life changed from "God, this is what I'm going to do, unless you tell me otherwise." to "God, how can we go forward together?"

How would I be different if rather than seeking out blessing or avoiding criticism, I invited God to write my life's story with me?

I'm not exactly sure, but I'm uninstalling Word from my prayer life and sending God a Google Docs invite right now. I'll let you know how it goes.