Long time, no write, eh? Actually, I have been writing, it’s just been over on my other blog. I’ve been writing about my daily life and gratitude. It is important to be grateful to God in our lives, after all, it is His command, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” –Thessalonians 5:16-18. Sometimes that is easier said than done. It is difficult for me to give thanks when I am not in the mood. It is difficult for me to give thanks when I am sad or depressed. It is difficult for me to give thanks when I am angry. So I have been intentionally writing about gratitude on my “Go, Send or Disobey” blog. I started that blog originally to write about missions. However, I think remembering to be grateful every day is an important part of missions. Therefore, my “Attitude of Gratitude” posts reside on my missions blog.
However, what I want to write about today speaks about God. It speaks about who He is and the relationship I am striving to have with Him. Therefore, I am posting on this blog. This blog where I reflect upon God and who He is in my life, what I am learning about Him and where He and I are headed (hopefully together).
For those of you who have not read my “Go, Send or Disobey” blog: I am a member of a small group Bible study that meets on Monday evenings. We started out by studying Lysa TerKeurst’s “Made to Crave” (twice) and then Mark Hall’s (of Casting Crowns fame) “The Well.” Both were wonderful studies and I learned a lot from them. Monday night we started a new book, we started “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.
This book first appeared on my radar while I was in Brazil. One of our team members was reading and commenting upon the book. Now I have a confession to make. Although I was curious about the book I resisted reading it at the time because I was sorta jealous of the girl reading it. I had reasons I wasn’t very proud of (I’m still not proud of my behavior) but they did get in the way of an authentic relationship with this girl. They still do sometimes. Anyways, I eventually went out and bought the book and read it. WHAM! It hit me between the eyes. If you haven’t read this book put down the blog, go buy and read this book. It is life changing.
In chapter one Francis Chan poses the question: “What do you think would come out of your mouth the moment you first saw God? What would be the first words you would say?” Think about this… standing in front of you is the person who created everything. EVERYTHING! Do you realize how immense that is? Do you fathom the entirety of existence? It is just too huge for our finite minds to imagine, and here in front of us stands the creator of it all, the creator of you and the creator of me. I originally thought my first words would be “Oh.My.GOD!” However, after thinking about it for a while I think I would be speechless. I believe I would be falling on my face, a quivering mass of emotion. I would be crying, sobbing actually, much like Simon Peter when he said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” God is so Holy, Holy, Holy that I do not deserve to be in His presence. Overcome, overwhelmed and so completely awed I cannot imagine being able to utter a single squeak, least of all actual words.
Now I believe Francis Chan’s point, and the topic of this week’s discussion is this: “Why don’t we pray this way? Why don’t we pray to God as if we were standing in His presence?” And another important question, “What is stopping us from doing exactly that?”
So the point of my blog is not to discuss that question as much as it is to ask it. It is to put that question out there and ask what can I do in my life, what can you do in your life, to pray to God as if we are standing face to face with Him in His presence? Because, if you think about it — I am and you are, too. That is, after all, the very definition of omnipresent.
This week I am sitting down with myself to look at the way I pray. I have always maintained that prayer is a dialog with God. There’s one major problem with that. I have the tendency to pray at God, not pray to God. I often forget that communication with God is a two-way street, unless, of course, I want something from Him. I need to become more intentional about listening for God’s responses. If He was sitting with me, conversing with me I would be listening to Him, wouldn’t I? I wouldn’t want to interrupt His responses, I wouldn’t want to tell Him that I know better than He does or that I don’t need Him to tell me something, right?
My challenge to myself, and to you, is to be conscious about His presence as we pray to Him this week. Pay attention to how we are praying and see how our prayer life changes. I’m betting that our prayer lives will become deeper and more intimate. I’m pretty sure that is what Francis Chan intended when he wrote chapter one of Crazy Love.