In this day and age of modern communication, everybody knows the frustration of a telephone or internet connection fading or becoming static and noisy. Before cutting the call and trying again, we call out: hello, hello, can you hear me? I sometimes smile at a Skype connection freezing the image in funny moments, or becoming patchy and blurry. Uncertainty reigns. Can you hear, does the other side hear, shall we start over? Often a fresh call does the trick and conversation can continue, with an effort to pick up the thread where the call was cut of.
Just imagine the intensity of communications becoming fuzzy and incoherent in the unseen world. Have you lost the connection? Has prayer become stagnant and so static with the noise of life and busy-ness, that you need a fresh connection? God is saying, throughout all the ages: I am still here…hello, hello, are you there…?
Maybe you haven’t prayed at all in your life so far, or maybe not since childhood or forced and prescribed church prayers. Please stay with me and keep reading/listening. Do not let anything hinder you to make a fresh start, whatever your background may be. Nothing at all can ever be a surprise to God – He already knows your deepest and most shameful secret. Psalm 139:7… This is most reassuring – He is already at the place where you thought you are hiding!
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
It is your own guilt and the accusations of the great accuser, the devil, which keeps you captive. Break loose and call out. He promises to hear and answer. Jeremiah 33:3: Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’
Do you hear Him? Whispering into the deafening noise and echoes of your stress and rush? If you incline you ear to hear His voice, His whisper becomes the thunder and the sound of rushing water. The mere fact that you are reading this piece, means that your heart is stirred towards your Father. [Revelation 1:15,19:6] It is the wind of His spirit, searching for you, knocking at the door, waiting for your cry to bring you revelation and insight.
The darkest moment of sin and failure in the Garden of Eden, which we discussed in Pebbles 9, could not break off communication with God. He came, as usual in the evening breeze, and searched for His friends, His people, His companions. Yes, even if you don’t feel worthy, you are created for communication with God and will always feel unfulfilled without it. You are the crown of creation, His special child. 1 Peter 2:9 [NKJV]
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Psalm 139:13… [The Message]
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking. Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
He seeks to speak to you, to hold you in His embrace and be your shelter and strong tower. God is looking out for you to come back to Him or approach Him for the first time in your life. This is His invitation: Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Sometimes when I ask people what their image of God the Father is, I am not surprised at the caricature of a fiery, fierce, angry, over-powering bearded figure, eager to punish and rob man of all pleasure and joy, they have in their imagination. I too had a distorted and vague image of a Godhead. I consciously changed my thinking to an image in line with Scripture. Make a picture of the father of the prodigal son, standing on the hill, waiting for a sign of your approach and then running with outstretched arms in welcoming exuberance. That is you heavenly Father!
Blame and guilt truly are the most effective weapons of our enemy, the devil, to thwart our confidence to approach God in prayer. You are already special and chosen by the work of Jesus on the cross and it is by His blood that you are made worthy to talk to God.
Jesus is the Key, the Door, the Life, the Way, the One and Only. Do not let the reason and resistance of the post-modern society hinder your spiritual victory. This is not a narrow and exclusive way of coming to God, as they would like to argue. It is a wide-open invitation to the warmth and provision that you will find for every possible problem you might have.
So often I get the impression that people want to investigate Christianity from the outside. It is like somebody walking around a lovely mansion in the cold and frost outside, peeping into the windows and just glimpses the warmth inside. The door to go in is wide open and there are lots of people inviting them in. Above the door is a cross, they need to bow and enter through the cross. Postmodern thinking makes this impossible and they feel it is so old-fashioned and exclusive. Why do they have to enter through the cross? Why can’t they enter by their own goodness, as all people, no matter what and who they are, are good, right? They walk around the house and see the room with a big fire and a room full of people finding joy in prayer and worship. They feel the need to investigate…. and peep through the chimney.
Oh, can you imagine what happens when you investigate a fire through the chimney. Your eyes burn, you stink of smoke and come away worse that ever, coughing and disgusted. Whatever the church may be, any denomination, God is working in there. Many people are hurt and disappointed by church people and church doctrine, but God will never abandon His church. There is always a remnant of upright, loving Christians, who walk in His love and care about you. We might think that a church is dead and irrelevant. God is patient and faithful and will always be there for people who draw near to Him in spirit and truth, far away from church or inside.
Come in, or come back in – which ever might be applicable to your life – and taste that God is good. [Psalm 34:8] Open the door, so that He might dine with you. Open your ears, so that you hear the knock on the door of your heart. Talk to Him.
We will be talking about prayer in a few more Pebbles to come. I hope it will restore your confidence and encourage your faith to approach God and pick up that ancient chat. It will change your life.
Prayer is not mystical or a trance-like state of mind. God is you father and Jesus taught us to call Him dad. It indicates a close and warm, liberated and fearless relationship. The key to come close to God is through Jesus. He declared the Plan for our salvation there in the Garden and established His set path to redemption. His Plan stands firm and cannot return to Him void; it always will accomplish what He purposed. He gave us the highway, the smooth path, the sure foundation in the cross. It is through the innocent blood of His son that we have the immense privilege to enter into the Presence of the most high God. Hebrews 10:19
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus
May I invite you today to start your prayer in the Name of Jesus and ask God to forgive your sin? He will wash you in the precious blood of Jesus and you will be made free and whole. 1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Submit your life to Him and start over. He promises a whole new life, in which you follow in His footsteps, are guided by His Spirit and are empowered by His Scriptures, the Word of God. You will find the peace that surpasses all understanding, joy that is not dependent on your circumstances and unconditional love.
Focus on the cross and the blood that cleanses us from all sin, is a good start for every prayer. It is through the blood that we are made worthy, that we become the holy priesthood and very special people in God’s eyes. Ephesians 2:13:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
See you soon.