Josh Brage

October 20, 2007, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Blogroll, Philosophical, U2 = LIFE, Walk with God

So, yeah. Dave Wainscott’s blog is incredible. Mark has him in his blog roll, I am adding him now as well. I spent a large portion of last night reading through a bunch of his stuff. Most of it is pretty dang heady, but sometimes I like that. Here is an interesting bit from his post Elevation Church; Jesus Loves Righteous People. This is not his, it is from the book Blessed Are You: A Comprehensive Guide to Jewish Prayer by Jeffrey Cohen

Prayer is not something the pray-er just recites…it is an experience he enters into. There is no room for inhibition; singing and dancing are essential means by which he expresses his emotional cleaving to God….but such ardor/desire for God has to be so overwhelming that any extraneous thoughts are excluded…If distractions are erotic in nature…and he faces up to the predominance of the sexual urge at both conscious and subconscious levels, and its capacity to intrude even during prayer…then he has learned to take measures…by introducing the (ancient) doctrine of the “elevation of strange thoughts.”

This is a Chasidic Jewish technique not of sublimanation, but of thought conversion, whereby the beauty or desirability of the woman is latched upon and used not as a sexual but rather as a mental and spiritual stimulus. We are taught to “elevate” these thoughts by substituting the beauty of God for the physical beauty that is currently bewitching us. The praying person has learned to immediately contrast the pale reflection of beauty that humans are endowed with, on the one hand, and the supreme Divine source of authentic and enduring beauty, on the other. This is not sublimation; This is elevation.

Elevation by U2

High, higher than the sun
You shoot me from a gun
I need you to elevate me here,
At the corner of your lips
As the orbit of your hips
Eclipse, you elevate my soul

I’ve lost all self-control
Been living like a mole
Now going down, excavation
I and I in the sky
You make me feel like I can fly
So high, elevation

A star lit up like a cigar
Strung out like a guitar
Maybe you could educate my mind
Explain all these controls
I can’t sing but I’ve got soul
The goal is elevation

A mole, living in a hole
Digging up my soul
Going down, excavation
I and I in the sky
You make me feel like I can fly
So high, elevation

Love, lift me out of these blues
Won’t you tell me something true
I believe in you

A mole, living in a hole
Digging up my soul
Going down, excavation
I and I in the sky
You make me feel like I can fly
So high, elevation

This is a touch strange to me, I will admit. I don’t fully follow what he is saying, BUT what like about the post is the indication about how deep prayer can be. There is a place in prayer that we can begin to find where we are facing head on our deep desires and ambitions and then using them to propel us towards Christ.

Onto Bono’s song. Anyone who has any type of functional prayer life can completely relate to this song as almost an ode about prayer. “A mole, been living in a hole, digging up my soul.” HA! That summarizes most of what my prayer life has ever been. It is one of the primary reasons that prayer is sometimes scary to me and oftentimes avoided. My soul gets dug up. It forces me to vulnerability. That is hard. I have to trust God with my world, my heart.

The fun part about prayer is the flip side of that coin. When you are able to allow God to do some ‘digging’ He is able to apply His grace and mercy directly to your heart. When you release something to Him, a hurt, pain, pride spot, etc. He can then fix it and heal it. That results in a type of transcendence. Prayer and the results of God meeting you in prayer transcends you. It will lift you above your circumstances as you trust God with your worries. It will lift you above your pain and past as you release them to Him. It will elevate you! That is terribly exciting to me. It is addicting.

God, teach me how to better pray. Not just words or rhetoric, but God teach me how to bare all to You. You are the Healer, Forgiver and Deliverer. Help me reveal myself to you. Help me break through the walls of pride and frustration that would keep me far away from Your grace and mercy that I so desperately need and desire. Lord lift me up! Help me to see the world from Your eyes. Teach me how to view people like you do. Teach me how to view myself as You do. I want to know You. I want to be close to You. Help me do so! AMEN


1 Comment so far
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I am glad you found my blog so intriguing.

Love your comments about the mole-prayer, and your wonderful dangerous prayer

Keep up the good work

“Born in Denver” Dave Wainscott

Comment by dave wainscott

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