Which is more spiritual, thinking or praying? We probably answer, “Of course praying is spiritual because I’m talking to God with my spirit. Thinking isn’t spiritual because I’m using my brain, my natural human gray matter to come up with my own thoughts… right?”
WRONG! Hey, who made that grey matter anyway? GOD! He made your brain as well as your spirit! Whoa! So that messes up all our theology. What if it’s just as spiritual to use our God-given brain to think as it is to use our God-given spirit to pray?
Let’s explore this with a few diagrams. These simple truths will liberate you into a new freedom and power in how you relate to God, people and life in general!
Figure 1: Traditional church culture.
Sacred Secular dichotomy – there is a clear distinction between what is “secular” and “spiritual.” People who do the “ministry” are “called” by God and are viewed as more “spiritual” than those who are “not called” and therefore do “secular” tasks. Prayer is more spiritual than thinking. One should make time to stop work in order to pray or worship. Business is not ministry, it’s what one does to get money to live. It’s dangerous to entertain reason too much or one might lose his or her faith…
This view says the sacred should be a private matter and stay out of secular arenas. The church building or private closet is the place for the sacred. This view removed prayer from our schools and God from our holidays and public buildings.
Figure 2: Sacred is sent into secular to redeem it
Sacred and secular are meant to compliment each other. Secular needs the sacred in order to function most effectively and glorify God. When we pray, we should also think and use our minds to “test the spirits” etc and determine truth from error. Prayer can guide our thoughts and so we should pray for wisdom to make right decisions in life… The workplace and the corporate business office should be our mission field. We can worship God in the workplace by sharing our faith with others. We can make our business into a ministry by playing Christian music, displaying Bible paintings and most importantly, by sharing our faith with customers. Faith is incomplete without reason and reason cannot attain its greatest discoveries without faith. God’s Spirit gives ideas that lead to new discoveries. This is why over 85% of all inventions were by Jews or Christians…
Figure 3: Sacred is an integral part of daily life. Nothing is secular.
Thinking becomes prayer when we “set our mind on things above” and “pray without ceasing.” Work becomes an act of worship when done “unto the Lord.” Excellence in work and business reveals Christ in a more powerful and essential way than preaching alone. Preaching without excellence is a negative, not a positive, for Christ. Therefore work and business as an act of worship must precede and undergird preaching the direct message of Christ. The mouth may speak things that the heart doesn’t believe or that the works do not validate. “By your works” you either confess or deny Christ. Faith and reason working together result in the greatest glory to God as these give rise to new inventions. Why did technology blossom in the atmosphere of revived Christianity and the Bible? Apart from faith, reason is chained to mere philosophy. Mix it with faith and it blossoms into microchips, jet airplanes and Democracy.
Whenever faith is divorced from life, society disintegrates. Bring back the sacred as an essential influencer of all other spheres of society, and morality, peace and justice will be restored.