The Perspective of Prayer: How to Pray (III)

Pray not expecting your prayers to be answered in the manner you seem to believe is right, fair, just or sensible.  It isn't about how or when our prayers are answered.  Prayer is about basking in God's presence and to seek to have His nature unfold before us each and every time we go before God's mercy seat.  The prophet Daniel prayed because he was faithful and sought God.  He knew the costs of faithful and genuine prayer.  God didn't spare Daniel from the lion's den.  God spared him from being eaten by lions.  We don't pray so that God can take the trials and tribulations away.  We pray that His mercy protects us, of course, but even if it seems that He isn't backing down from taking us through the valley of the shadow of death, He has His perfect reason and purposes - His glory.  Through these apparent ordeals, we serves as living parables, signs - pointing others to be things beyond ourselves, beyond our hurt pride and broken egos.  Our pain and struggles point towards Him.  If we remain faithful, God will use us as a lighthouse for others to find safe harbor and rest.  Through our obedience, others will discover the source of our submission.  This is what prayer is all about.

Pray as if what your petitions and supplications are insignificant and not the source or focus of your time with God, as it were.  We would be surprised if we just prayed in order to find God's face and with the sole intention of finding greater intimacy and wisdom.  If we honestly sought these divine treasures and put aside our agendas and anxieties, God would respond in amazing & unfathomable ways.  But God knows our heart.  I believe that we often express fear that God will abandon us, not because God will, but because WE are capable of abandoning Him.  It is not in God's nature to abandon us.  It is impossible for God to abandon those who love Him and seek Him.  It is within our nature to abandon and betray God even when His love, grace, mercy and presence are way beyond apparent and abundant.  So, we project our failures on God.  Although we may say that we trust Him, we actually don't trust ourselves to remain faithful to His mandates and expectations for us to walk into a lion's den, face the hungry beasts and yet know, beyond any doubt, that He will keep their bone-breaking jaws shut!

This is what prayer is... It is the interplay of divine imagination, language and engagement between God and His children.  It is how we cross the threshold of this world and enter another world.  It is how we have our feet in this realm all the while being nourished and strengthened by forces outside of this planet.  And yet, knowing all this - we fall apart at the slightest push or shove to either the right or the left.  As in the case of Peter, who walked on water while he kept his eyes on the Master.  As soon as the physical world seduced his anxiety and led him toward abandonment of Jesus' words, he sank into the dark depths of chaos and fear.

Pray not for things to happen, but in order to find the source of all joy and life.  Pray in order to grow in the knowledge of God's nature.  Praying is a way to love on God.  Just seek His company.  When we get to this point of disinterested encounter, where what we give to God is really just our heart, then the miracles come.  Not because we programmed it, but because it is the outpouring of what was given in prayer - without any hidden purposes or scams. Answers come because we came to Him just to be with Him.  That was all.  The answers, miracles and amazing "God moments" are called something else in heaven... love.  Plain and simple love.  It's what any loving parent does for his/her kids when being with them is honest and sincere.  It is an outpouring of a parent's love to bless his kids with their hearts desire.  That's the secret to prayer... love.

Grace and peace to each of you in God our Father through our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.

Pastor Daniel+


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