Dallas Willard on Prayer

Prayer is interacting with God about what we are thinking and doing together in the world.  –  Dallas Willard (1935-2013)

More on prayer from Dallas Willard:

Don’t seek to develop a prayer life — seek a praying life. A “prayer life” is a segmented time for prayer. You’ll end feeling guilty that you don’t spend more time in prayer. Eventually you’ll probably feel defeated and give up. A “praying life” is a life that is saturated with prayerfulness — you seek to do all that you do with the Lord.

You can’t pray if you’re worrying about whether God will answer your prayer.

What solitude has to do with prayer:

Solitude is choosing to step free from human relationships for a lengthy period of time, in isolation or anonymity, to make room for occupation of our lives by God. It is to do nothing and not try to make anything happen. It is the primary spiritual discipline which enables us to learn other disciplines (e.g., Sabbath, fasting, being unhurried, study, and prayer). Solitude facilitates ministry because it enables clarity and resolution of purpose and strength to avoid distraction.

Prayer is talking with God about what we’re thinking and doing together; it is co-laboring with God to accomplish the good purposes of his kingdom. Prayer almost always involves other disciplines and spiritual activities (e.g., study, meditation, worship, solitude, or fasting). Don’t seek to develop a prayer life — seek a praying life.

What fellowship has to do with prayer:

Fellowship is engaging in common activities of worship, study, prayer, celebration, and service with other disciples of Jesus.

Source of the first quote: Tom Nelson at Biola on Prayer (YouTube video – 15:39; quote at about 10:30)

Source of the rest: Dallas Willard’s Definitions by Bill Gaultiere


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