Boyd on the Relational Aspect of Prayer

From reknew:

One of the key differences between “magic” and biblical faith is that magic is about engaging in behaviors that ultimately benefit the practitioner, while biblical faith is about cultivating a covenantal relationship with God that is built on mutual trust. And while the God-human relationship, like all trusting human-to-human relationships, benefits both God and the person of faith, it is not entered into as a means to some other end. We might say that magical faith is utilitarian while biblical faith is simply faithful.

With all sincerity, people often try to believe the right things to pray the right way. They try to attain a sufficient level of certainty about particular doctrines so that they can be sure that they are saved. Or they work to avoid the “deal-breaker” sins in order to get God to “save” them. But how is this significantly different from those who engage in magic by performing certain behaviors to get the spiritual realm to benefit them?

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