by Jan Silvious
How free are you with God when you pray? Do you feel you have to address Him formally or that you have to apply a formula, some kind of confidential code, before He will hear you? Or have you discovered the joy of talking to the Lord as you would talk to a friend?
Recently I had the privilege of meeting with a group of women who were planning a conference for their area. Each person present was deeply burdened for the people who would be attending. Each one wanted God’s will to be done during the weekend conference. As we prayed, the dear woman sitting next to me closed our time by saying, “Lord, we just invite you to have yourself a wonderful time this weekend!”
I nearly came up out of my chair! That’s it! I thought to myself. That’s what it’s all about! We were there to plan a meeting for God’s glory. Certainly, we were all concerned about the participants, but He was more concerned . . . and a “wonderful time” for Him would be to see those women coming into a closer relationship with Him. So, of course we should invite Him to interrupt our plans, to make Himself known, to manifest Himself!
Being real in prayer is one of the most obvious marks of a believer for me. I can remember when our family was looking for a church home. We visited a particular church on a snowy Sunday. There was no choir, and only a handful of people had shown up. But when the pastor began to pray, we knew we were home. He had a familiarity with Jesus that showed in the way He prayed. He was humble, but honest. No pretense, just a needy person seeking an all-sufficient God.
Do you talk to God as if you know He’s glad to hear from you? Or do you approach Him with caution, tip-toeing into His presence with your carefully-worded prayers?
Romans 8:14-15 tells us: “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
Abba is the Greek word for “daddy.” To come into the presence of God is to approach a holy God, of course, One who is to be respected, but One who is willing to bend low to listen . . . as a loving father does with a little child. No daddy expects his children to speak to him in a formal manner. A real daddy wants his child to feel free to come to him anytime, and to discuss whatever is on his mind.
Those of us who were adults in the ‘60s will never forget little John-John Kennedy, who walked into cabinet meetings or played under his father’s desk while the president entertained visiting heads of state. John Kennedy, Jr. was perfectly comfortable and relaxed, knowing that he had his father’s ear and an open door at any time.
The same privilege is yours and mine as God’s children. No “thee” and “thou” needed. No special formulas that will admit us into the throne room. Just our relationship—Father and child.
If you struggle with prayer, why not begin today with a simple petition straight from your heart? Just tell God ... your Abba, Father ... what’s on your mind. Little by little you will find that your time with Him becomes sweeter and sweeter as you pour out your heart, simply and without pretense, to the One who loves you best.
From The 5-Minute Devotional