February 27, 2010

My Father's Chair

Prayer is a difficult topic for me as it was with Martyn Lloyd Jones. I understand why and what its for but it still stupefies me. It is universal and speaks to some deep innate human need. In much of the world, skepticism and prosperity dilutes prayers of people who would've normally been more faithful. The worst distraction of all? Time, or more specifically, the need to crowd out prayer because of needs of subsistence. Needs God already told us he would provide if only we trusted in Him first. Work, money, children, parents and the lesser mindless droning of radio, television, media, Internet. Many people including believers feel more comfortable exposing their souls to friends, family or even complete strangers in the form of psychiatrists rather than giving their anxieties and their soul to God. After 40 years I have come to the conclusion that most people do have a God shaped hole in them as Blaise Pascal said that can only be filled by God. A yearning for transcendence. Unfortunately, a large portion of humanity find false gods or idols of the mind and these anxieties never unload themselves from their victims. Those people never find peace. The God of the Bible has put forth what is needed for our peace. To resist what has been extended to us is to turn callous and ignore the blatantly obvious that is marked off in the creation all around us.

Romans 1:18-20
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Prayer is the intersection point between God and man. It is a privilege not a duty. To consider, even for a second that God actually is willing to condescend to hear our petitions and pleas for what we believe we need or want when He already knows what we need or want, is mind-boggling. Like a loving parent that knows better He still stops to hear us. He stops to hear us. Because He is always there with us and we don't pray...it would be like having a friend next to us all day and not talking to them. Ignoring them as if they are not important. Why would someone do that? It seems so counter intuitive.

Prayer requires discipline just like anything else that requires effort and is of benefit in our lives. At times it is hard work. Strenuous exercise helps condition us to better run the race in a way that allows us to win.

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

There is nothing quite like the appreciation that toiling over something instills in the human soul. Talking with someone else creates and strengthens a relationship. Like relationships we run the gamut of emotions when dealing with them, ecstasy, dullness, mindlessness, anger, concentration, joy, irritation, frustration and completeness. Prayer has all the features in common with communication in a marriage or friendships but it is with God and because of this, is so much more.

Psalm 46:10
"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

The imperative translated “be still” comes from the Hebrew term רָפָה raphah whose meaning better translates: "vacate" or "leave self". God invites is to take a break. To literally become slack in some of our duties. This break allows Him to work where we have vacated in our lives. Many of us have tried to totally takeover our own lives and when we have success we totally attribute it to our own efforts and give absolutely no credit to God. We need to stop being god in our lives and let Him be who He is: GOD. We need to climb down from our Father's chair (throne) because we do not belong there. When we eat of the spiritual things we need to be in our proper places. Our Father is at the head of the table where He acts as the provider of all things good, of all things righteous, all things holy. We go to Him for this sustenance. It is our Father's chair not ours. We have our own seat the table. When I was a child, everyone knew which chair was our father's. No one dared to sit in it.

2 Samuel 9:13
And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table, and he was crippled in both feet.

The story of David and Mephibosheth is a typology or shadow of the relationship we as believers would have in the new covenant with Jesus Christ. All of us have as believers now are being given undeserved royal treatment by a king, instead of being exiled as we deserved. This similar experience is certainly one of the reasons why God included the story of Mephibosheth in His Word. The relationship between David and Mephibosheth is meant to portray a picture of the relationship between God and us.

To be able to have this relationship...we must relinquish control and have total faith in His plan for us. Reliance on prayer is believers being willing to see our lives from God's point of view. The only way we can do that is to have a two-way relationship with Him. To allow God to instill knowledge and holiness. The great thing is that we need not be perfect to receive it because God is merciful and full of grace.

If we have and intercessor that takes our prayers directly to the throne why would we not pray?

Hebrews 9:24
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

Go pray before His throne.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...