The sermon at my church today was about prayer, and that started me thinking…. I’ve read several books about prayer, many of them describing it as a spiritual discipline and a duty of faith that one must continually strive to improve. But prayer is so much more than that; at its essence, it is communion with God. It is not a duty or discipline, but an amazing privilege and invitation from God to approach Him and share our hearts and delight in Him. I once read a quote that said “Prayers are our love songs to God.” It is the way that we can respond to God.
From the very beginning, our God has been Initiator of relationship with man. The Bible starts with God walking with Adam and Eve in communion, and we see God coming to men ever after that. God traveled with the Israelites as they made their way from Egypt to their Promised Land. His presence filled the tabernacle, which was called the “tent of meeting”, for it was the place that the high priest met with God and where the people gathered to hear God’s instruction and to worship Him. When the temple was built, it served the same purpose – it was where God met with His people. However, His presence was shrouded behind the curtain that separated His holiness from man’s sin, and only one man could enter this Holy of Holies under very specific conditions. When Jesus died on the cross and paid the death penalty for sin, we are told that the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom. God Himself rent the curtain apart and removed forever any barriers between Himself and us. He has flung the doors of heaven open, not only so we can enter, but so He can come to us. And prayer is the expression of that relationship God has called us to. It is where He meets with us now, our “tent of meeting.” He tells us to pray without ceasing so that we live every moment of the day aware of His presence and love with us, in communion with Him. Prayer is not really so much a spiritual discipline to me, as it is an attitude of the heart, always turned to God in response to His invitation to “come.”
Throughout the ages, that has been His message to us: “Come and see”, “Come and taste”, “Come and hear”, “Come and follow”, “Come and meet”. Always, He calls to us, “Come”.
Blessings to you,