1. What is prayer?
My favourite verse in the Bible is right in the beginning, just after God had made everything and there was nothing else to do. To top it all off He had made man and considered him the best of all that he had done. (everything else was good but man was very good). I find it hard to look at the beauty of the hills and lakes of the Lake District in the UK and think that God considers me more beautiful, to look at the stars in the sky and think that God considers me more majestic. Anyway, after all this wonderful creation and God had put man and woman in this perfect garden with luscious fruit at every turn, God goes looking for man in the cool of the evening – just for a chat – just to see how man had got on during the day. God just wanted to hang out with God and God wanted to hang out with man – just to enjoy each others company. It sounds idyllic and indeed it was. That’s everything that prayer is – just spending time in Gods presence enjoying his presence.
Why not still your mind from all the things that you have to do and rest in his presence?
2. What prayer is not – even though you may want to call it that
Prayer is not just reading something someone else has written down, it is not rushing through a list of stuff because you need to be somewhere else. it is not a long list of things you want from him. It’s not jabbering on and not letting him get a word in edgeways Imagine meeting up with your friend because its something you ought to do but doesn’t want to do. Its something that gets in the way of your day. Even while you are talking you are constantly looking around to see if something more interesting is happening somewhere else. If I were your friend, I would just get up and leave. – insulted and think twice before we met up again and then only if you begged me. Fortunately, God is not as flakey as that. Despite the way we treat him he is always prepared to listen. But in the disjointed conversation, it is us who miss out. If you have not been getting much out of prayer perhaps its because you don’t value it enough, or even at all.
Instead of using many words why not just listen to what God has to say?
3. Who are we to come into his presence?
It was in terror that she walked into the throne room of the most powerful man in the world. He was the king of a massive civilisation, the absolute ruler over the vast majority of the then known world. He held the lives of tens of thousands in his hands. As she stood before him she not only risked her own life but that of her entire nation. This really was life or death. Spoiler alert. You can read what happened in
When you come into God’s presence do you come with the same awe, the same awareness that but for Jesus, you would not be able to enter His throne room? Because of Jesus we not only have a right to enter but are welcomed into his presence. That right and invitation does not change the absolute authority of God. It does change how he sees us.