God Is Approachable
The Apostle wisely urges us to pray, but so many do not pray. At first I
used to think those not
praying regularly could not find the time. Only after investigation, I
decided that excuse is over used.
I decided nearly everyone can make the time to pray but they do not want
to pray. One reason is they
view prayer as a grim undertaking they will not get any enjoyment or
refreshment from. This may be
because so many view God as a negative and terrifying Reality obsessed
with their sins. Their view
of God is some sort of self-righteous maniac who wants to send them to
hell. They see God as a Being who
can’t wait to throw up their sins to them. SINCE GOD IS NOT PLEASANT TO
KNOW, WHO IN THEIR
RIGHT MINDS WOULD WANT TO STIR HIM UP BY PRAYER? The problem seems to be
people tend to project what is bothering them to be the same as what is
bothering God. They do not see or
understand that God is on a higher plane than we as mere humans are. His
ways are not our ways, says the
Psalmist of God. His ways are above ours.
Our sins and peccadilloes are dramatized and magnified by us. God’s love is never consumed by our sins and peccadilloes. God is a parent who loves first and always. Jesus said that if our human children asked for bread, would we give them stones? No, of course not. And if God is higher than we humans are, would God when we ask for love, berate us and reject us? Certainly not. If we view God as a self-righteous maniac eaten up with our sins, we are projecting our guilt, hate, littleness and self-dramatization on Him. But this is not fair to God. God should not be seen as a low reflection of us but show what is above us. God is above all, warm and approachable. Seek Him in prayer.
What is God like when met in prayer? My best way to give an idea of it is to look at the love of a baby. The baby loves without caring who you are or what your sins are. The baby has love, trust and innocence to impart to you as it rests on your shoulder. You receive a feeling of love, trust and innocence as you hold the baby, and if you are right souled, you return this unconditional love and trust back to him. The time spent with a baby is always some of the best in my day. I am reinvigorated by innocence, by charm, by bonding time with the innocence and trust of the baby. I am always better for it. I may be worn down some, but I am always spiritually richer. Now prayer at its best is much like this. It is a time of our reinvigoration by the presence of that love, trust and innocence which is Christ.
Now this to me is as it should be with prayer. Or it is the best way I can presently describe it. Prayer is our bonding time with God and not to be missed lightly. By bonding regularly with God in private prayer, we draw closer to God and we learn universal lessons and truths from Him. God is not a purity freak to be feared and avoided. He is instead Someone, a reality to be loved, an entity to be enjoyed. We may rise refreshed from some very real periods of prayer with Him, although not all times of prayer are as good as others. But prayer at some times can give us a feeling beyond words and a sense of the joy of existence deeper than words. Therefore we are never alone We have inner resources. We are able to take on life. As it says in Exodus 15:2 “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”
Now in my opinion prayer may bring on grace, sometimes but of course not automatically and mechanistically, because such moments of grace or semi-grace and bonding are possible without prayer, but not nearly as likely. Now, is such grace supernatural as the result of the Special Grace that is Divine Revelation? Or are such moments the result of Common Grace that is those divine rhythms of God that are placed in nature and reality by God and express themselves through nature? (semi-grace) I don’t know. Nor do I care. Arguments like that are hair-splitting like “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” Taking on that is a waste of energy and a misuse of time better spent in practical Christianity and spiritual actions that help people. When you stoop to trivial arguments like that, it shows too little sense, too much time and too much easy money. You have by-passed the Kingdom of God and made up a rival and meaningless agenda. Stop the detour. Get back on the main Highway to God. Why argue when you can pray?
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.