God wants to be in His people’s presence more than His people want to be in His presence. God desires us to know Him. The problem is sin. Not only did it separate us from God. We no longer naturally know how to enjoy the presence of God. We struggle with worship. We have to learn how to enjoy His presence. Jesus did not just die on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and then abandon us. He also has given us the Holy Spirit and His Word to teach us to come to know Him. In the next few blogs, we will learn more about the spiritual disciplines that bring us into the presence of God.
We are going to start with the discipline of prayer. Richard Foster says that prayer is the “most central” of the God-given disciplines because “it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father.” (Celebration of Discipline, 40). If done correctly, it often spurs us to other disciplines.
One might think that prayer should be easy. By definition, it is simply having a conversation with God. We generally have numerous conversation in a day. Why should conversing with God be more difficult?
Often, it is more difficult, because we try to take more of the responsibility than what has been given to us. Because God doesn’t generally communicate in the same way as we do, we try to fill the conversation with our own words. Sometimes, this leads us to make prayer a “want” list. Other times, we end up filling time with fancy words that lack true meaning. I feel like I fail at praying, and I don’t like to fail so I stop.
Even when we fail at praying, God still loves to hear from us.
He wants us to continue praying so that we can learn to love His Heart. As we learn His Heart, then and only then, we will become better prayers.
Start where you are. Don’t be afraid to try. Try praying in multiple environments such as alone and in groups. The more you pray, the more He reveals himself. The more He reveals himself, the better we become at praying.
Pray that you would enjoy His presence. Pray that you would love Him with the love that He provides.
Only when you truly love God will obedience to God be more than just a chore. Without the love of God, it is impossible to truly obey the Bible: Devote yourselves to prayer (Colossians 4:2) and Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
When you pray this week, don’t forget that you are communicating with God who loves you greatly.