How a Trip to the Mall Reveals Our Poverty of Spirit

I've been reading Paul Miller's A Praying Life: Connecting With God In a Distracting World. He writes of our need of a praying spirit throughout each day and how that effects the ordinary things such as walking through a mall. One of the highlights of walking through the mall is seeing all of the "interesting" people. But often times our reaction to what we see reveals our poverty of spirit because rather than seeing them as "interesting" we need to see them as needy, in need of the same thing we are in need of, the Gospel and the grace of God.

A praying spirit transforms how we look at people. As we walk through the mall, our hearts can tempt us to judge, despise, or lust. We see overweight people, skinny people, teenagers with piercings or tatoos, well-dressed women, security guards, and older people shuffling along. If we are tempted to judge an overweight person, we might pray that he or she loses weight. When we see a teenage girl with a nose ring, we can pray that she would find her community in Christ. When we see a security guard, we might pray for his career. When we pass an older couple shuffling along, we can pray for grace as they age.

So the next time we go to the mall, maybe as we watch the people we will really see them and pray for them as we realize that we really aren't that different from them--dependent creatures who need the help and grace of our Creator, grace that is given to us through Jesus Christ.

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