The Old Scot Reflects on Prayer - Part 1

by The Old Scot

You pray-of course you do. So I hope you won't mind if I ask you: to Whom Do You Pray?

"To God," I'm sure you answer.

Yes, but who is God? How do you think of Him, in your heart of hearts?

Do you picture Him as a majestic, imposing figure, as the Creator God?

Or do you imagine Him as "the Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"?

Or perhaps as the El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient God?

Our God is all these, of course. But I must ask again: Do you see God primarily as the majestic Creator, or as the august Judge of all the earth, or as the Need-Meeter, or what?

While acknowledging all these qualities and characteristics of Jehovah God, for myself, I think of Him as my Father. As Father, He is certainly the primary Authority Figure, with all the other attributes we acknowledge as His. But there is also a tenderness in His attitude to me [and to all His children, of course-but one of the joys, one of the glories, of our faith is that thanks to our Savior, Christ Jesus, we have a very personal, one-to-one relationship with the I AM who designed the universe-from the great galaxies flung across the heavens to the least of the particles of matter.

Somehow I think of Father God as the active businessman portrayed by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in a favorite poem, "The Children's Hour." The father is home from the great activities of the day, relaxing in his study now, when he detects the approach of his children. Is he busy? Perhaps. But he will find time to listen to their childish prattle, and be caught up in their world-to meet them and to love them and let them know his love for them.

Longfellow's poem is from the father's point of view, and the last two stanzas say so much! The father speaks to his children:

"I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

"And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!"

Eternal security? I don't think in terms of contracts or promises or rewards. I think about our Father, whose love holds us fast!

And while Longfellow wrote of the Children's Hour, "Between the dark and the daylight, when the night is beginning to lower," our heavenly Father is always glad to be interrupted at His work by the questing prayers of His little ones.

"Little ones?" you say; "But I'm fully grown!" Yes, physically. But we are children in God's eyes, and it is as children that we should come to Him. Did not our Lord Jesus say: "Except yebecome as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:3)? It is not childish thoughts our Father treasures, but simple childlike trust.

But enough about me-what about your prayer life? Is there anything in what I've said that you can latch onto? Has it awakened a hunger to lose yourself in the snug embrace of your Father's loving arms? Perhaps you'd like to picture yourself climbing up onto your Father's lap, as perhaps your children still do to you.

That First Love relationship can be recaptured! This is one case in which we can go back-as our Lord solemnly urged us in Revelation 2:5. It begins by drawing near to God in prayer-which should above all else be the language of the heart, not the head.

Now would be a wonderful time to begin.

Your fellow pilgrim and sojourner,
The Old Scot

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