January 4 I Saturday
“I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer.” —Psalm 17:6
During a car ride to church, a father asked his child, “How do you expect God to speak to you?” The eleven-year-old boy responded, “I would eat some alphabet soup and hope the letters come out the right way.” Not that we should all look to a bowl of soup to see what God is saying but in some ways, we would all like for God to spell out what He wants to tell us. Yet, God will speak and how He speaks is His business.
But how does God speak? We know God speaks to us through His Word, but also as we spend time with Him through prayer, we will learn to discern how God speaks to us in our experience of Him. While teaching His disciples about prayer, Jesus says, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew, 6:7-8). Jesus did not tell us that the Father knows what we need so we do not need to ask Him or all we need to say is “Your will be done” and we are done praying. Rather, Jesus tells us to ask even though the Father already knows what we need.
In C.S. Lewis’s book Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, he writes, “They tell me Lord, that when I pray, only one voice is heard; that I’m dreaming, you’re not there, this whole thing is absurd. Maybe they’re right, Lord, maybe they’re right. Maybe there’s only one voice that’s heard. But if there’s only one voice that’s heard, Lord, it’s not mine, it’s your voice. I’m not dreaming; you are the dreamer. And I am your dream.” Lewis gives us a beautiful picture on what prayer is; it brings us into a deep intimate relationship with God.
William Cowper, eighteenth-century English poet and hymnodist once said, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” Because the weakest saint in touch with God has all the resources of heaven to work in and through him or her. That is why Jesus said, “when you pray...” and not “if you pray…” Prayer should be one of the most important things in our Christian life and not seen as a last resource for when we are in trouble and we decide we ought to pray about it. When we seek to grow our prayer life, we will discover the Christian life is a relationship that deepens and grows. The greatest benefit of prayer is we know God better and more deeply.
Prayer: Beloved Father, You know everything I need before I ask but I still come to You in prayer because I desire to know You more and grow more deeply in You. Bring me on my knees to seek You daily. Thank You, Lord!