First in the Sabbath School Bible study guide two weeks ago, and then for vespers last Friday, prayer’s been a hot topic of late. In fact, after a rousing sermon entitled “Lift Him Up” at Collegiate Sabbath last weekend, we went out around Big Rapids offering to pray with folk who opened the door to us. Not too many opened…but, since it was so nice and sunny, there were many doors already open. haha.
It’s so much fun going door-knocking! You meet all sorts of characters. At one house, this past Sabbath, as we approached, we heard scrambling. There was a car in the garage and the front door was wide open, but when we knocked and hollered no-one responded. Then I saw movement behind the couch. Someone was hiding behind the couch. I mean, seriously?
Of the 5 people we got to speak with in the space of an hour and a half, none of them was willing to pray with us! Refusing a Bible study because you’re afraid I’m trying to convert you when you already belong to a church is one thing. But how harmless is prayer!
Ok, so one example comes to mind for why someone might be wary to accept prayer…When I was canvassing 5years ago (that’s so long ago, I need to do it again and generate new stories!) I met this “born-again” Christian who was so touched by the fact we were going door-to-door selling Christian books that he offered to pray for my work. I accepted, of course, and he proceeded to lay a hand on my shoulder as we prayed there on the sidewalk. As the prayer was drawing to a close, he begun uttering indecipherable sounds…I opened one eye to assess the situation. He was “speaking in tongues” but not the Biblical way. And it was a bit of an uncomfortable situation…
Prayer, I suppose, isn’t as cut ‘n dry for Christians any longer eh.
Regardless, from all the musing I’ve done on prayer recently, one thing emerges as cardinal – prayer is about building a relationship with God. Oh so much I could write in that vein…<sigh> But I’ll stick to one analogy that struck me the other day.
It used to seem a little redundant to pray to God about stuff He already knows. So you want that ZW series Felt bike…since He can read your mind, He already knows that! Or you’re unhappy about a situation at work…He saw it happen! Why pray?
Well, it’s kinda like the difference between a blog and a call.
If I were to read a blog about, say, my friend’s experience taking the bar exam, I would now possess information about her. Maybe I could even say I’d know her better. And, of course I’d want to read my friend’s blog to know what’s going on in her mental world 🙂
If she gives me a call and tells me about the bar, it’s not just about knowing what is going on with her. It’s that now, and perhaps more importantly, she has invited me into her experience. She wants me to be a part of it – a part of her life. Whereas before, I was just an interested party, a phonecall like that is the bricks and motor of a solid relationship.
Yeah, God has all this information about us. Yeah, He knows what we want, what we need, how we feel etc etc etc. But He wants more than just to read the blog that is our life. His desire is that we would invite Him into our experience…make Him a part of our lives. He invites us to a relationship with Him through His Word. Will we reciprocate through prayer?