Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - "The Point of Access" (9-1-16)

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them the point of access when it comes to prayer. Now, if we sat in a room and posed the question, "How are we to approach God in prayer?", there would certainly be no lack of potential answers. Perhaps as Isaiah, falling on our faces like a dead man crying, "Holy, holy, holy." But when Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, He did not instruct them
to say, "Holy, Lord God Almighty..." Does this diminish the holiness of God? Of course not.

Jesus teaches that the access point to God in prayer is, "Our Father..." Amazing. We approach the throne of the Creator of the universe with the closeness of a child to a Father. There are countless points of consideration here, but allow me to focus on one. When my children talk to me, there is nothing they can say that will change my love for them. Just think, there is nothing you can say in prayer that will change God's love for you. 

That is why the Psalms are so dear to us. Raw honesty. Brutal emotions. Emptying all baggage. Does this define your prayer life? Or do you fall into the phony-spiritual prayer pattern of, "Oh Thou mighty Lord who dost bestow upon me all Thine good gifts." All true statements, but probably not honest. Certainly not reflecting a child coming into the presence of their Father. 

Jesus' prayer pattern does not begin with confession of sin. It does not begin with worship. It does not begin with presenting our needs. It begins with relationship. This is the heart of prayer - relationship with the Father. Raw and honest relationship. Jesus modeled this the night before He was crucified, talking to His Father with such honest intensity, His blood mixed with His sweat. It makes sense. There are times when my kids are abounding in love and gratitude toward me. But there are times when they struggle to understand my decisions and are clearly disappointed, to say the least.

Am I suggesting you yell at God? Not necessarily. I am saying, enter prayer at the point of relationship. He is your Father. You are His child. He loves you. He knows what is in your heart. Say what you are feeling. All of Jesus' examples of bad praying come from the phoniness of the Pharisees. God invites us to come to Him in open honesty as His beloved children. Will you come today and talk openly with your Father?

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