I’m starting with a subject which has had many books written about it and has been discussed and debated endlessly. I think the reason it has been talked about so much is that we all realise how important it is and yet so many of us find it difficult to do.
It is an enormous privilege to pray to the God of the universe, the great and awesome God who created all things. To get an audience with a King or Queen or Head of State would be an almost impossible task, but the God who created us, the supreme ruler and creator of the universe invites us freely to come and talk to Him.
The main problem with approaching a Holy God is that our sin blocks us from getting near. As Christians we can actually approach him boldly because of what Jesus has done in dealing with our sin. Jesus has made a way. Hebrews 4 states all that Jesus accomplished, culminating in verse 16 which says “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
It also says in Hebrews 10:19-22:
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water”.
In the Old Testament the people of God had to go through all sorts of purification rituals and animal sacrifices to approach God, and with real fear, in case their sacrifice wasn’t acceptable. But now we can have confidence in the sacrifice that was made once and for all by Jesus our redeemer.
We can approach Him at any time, day or night. God is always ready to speak to us, His door is always open, He is never asleep.
“It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)
“He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:3-4)
This means that whatever is going on in our lives, we can discuss it with Him. It doesn’t mean we necessarily have to pray great long prayers, but we can simply ask for help, tell Him our needs, ask for guidance and especially keep an attitude of thankfulness. This can be through short prayers throughout the day.
Knowing we can come to Him boldly and at any time, I guess the next big question is “so what do I say?”. We will look at this next week.
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” (Martin Luther)