C.S. Lewis on prayer…
“God is the thing to which to which he is praying, the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on, the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal… The man is being caught up into the higher kinds of life, what I call Zoe (life) or spiritual life: he is being pulled into God, by God, while still remaining himself.” [Mere Christianity]
In the Greek, three different words- bios, psuche, and Zoë- are translated as “life” in English, and each has a different meaning. Here are some examples of where each is used:
- Bios, in Luke 8:14 … “anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life.” This Greek word refers to the life of the physical body and is where we get the word biology.
- Psuche, in Matthew 16:25: “For whoever wants to save his soul-life shall lose it.” The Greed word here refers to the psychological life of the human soul that is the mind, emotion, and will. It is where we get the word psychology.
- Zoe, in John 1:4: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Here the Greek word refers to the uncreated eternal life of God, the divine life uniquely possessed by God.
Prayer is not an exercise of repetition or desire. It is the Zoe life of God at work in the heart of the believer. Prayer is all about God. Prayer is motivated by God. Prayer is enabled through God. Prayer is brought to life and light in God.
It is useless to chart our schematic of prayer through the knowledge of biology or psychology. It is not the strength and intellect of men that brings the power of prayer to bear in our daily devotion. It is the life of God that make our prayer life glorious with his glory and holiness. Prayer belongs to God.
We do not rise above our humanness to touch God. He reaches down with his love and grace to bring us up to his heart and learn of Him. What God wants is for us to apprehend his eternal life so that He becomes our “born-again life” that reflects Him in our living.
Pray without ceasing!