Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Prayer - Lifting up the soul

In Psalm 25:1 David says In you, LORD my God, I put my trust. He uses a similar phrase in Psalm 84:4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you and in Psalm 143:8 Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. More literally in each place he is talking about lifting his soul to God. The same idea is in Lamentations 3:41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: …. Hannah uses a different idiom when she says (1 Samuel 1:15) I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.
To you I lift up my soul and similar phrases say at least three things about prayer.
1. Prayer is a spiritual affair – it is a soul matter
The use of the word soul (an heart elsewhere) suggests that we are talking about an essentially spiritual matter. When we talk of our souls we are talking about us, the essential us, the essential me. Merely saying prayers is a waste of time. That is one reason why written prayers rarely work. If you write it out yourself that is a but different I guess but merely to read prayers is a sure fire way to make it unlikely that you will be lifting up your soul.
2. Prayer is our responsibility – I must do it
The phrase is To you I lift up my soul. There is no suggestion of God lifting up our souls for us. This is not to deny that we need help from on high if we are to pray but there is a responsibility on us to lift our souls to God and not simply wait for him to do it for us.
I remember hearing Eric Alexander speaking about prayer once. He put it this way We're not to wait until we get a tingle in our spine. It's a matter of moral obedience and duty. It is not a glandular condition where one does not pray until he feels like it”.
No, with prayer we simply have to get on to it.
3. Prayer involves effort – it is hard work
That leads on to the last point. It takes effort. I know the soul weighs nothing and so lifting it to God should not be difficult but sometimes it seems my soul is very heavy and lifting even an inch is hard work. Lift it up though. Pour it out. That's what it is to pray. That effort makes all the difference.

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