God’s idea of prayer is not a ritual, but loving and lively communication between the best of friends. But sad to say, most people think they can’t talk to God like that. Some think they’re not religious enough, not righteous enough, or not spiritual enough.
Some think He’s too big—too far above them. Some think He’s too busy to be concerned about them and their problems, which they think must seem awfully petty to Him. Some feel unworthy, not good enough. Some feel guilty or ashamed about things they’ve done. Some are even afraid of Him. If only they understood how differently God sees it!
God wants to have a personal relationship with each of us, and He wants it to be the deepest, most meaningful, most fulfilling and rewarding, most natural part of our lives. Now that’s not to say He wants to take away from the other relationships and activities that we enjoy and consider important. To the contrary—He wants to be a part of all that. He wants to make our day-to-day living easier, He wants to give the things we experience greater meaning, and He wants to enjoy them with us. In a word, He wants to make our lives better. He wants to add a wonderful new dimension to all that we do—the dimension of His loving presence.
How do we establish such a relationship, especially when we feel small and unspiritual and unworthy? How do we make that connection? Simple: through His Son, Jesus!
None of us can really grasp how great and wonderful God our Father is, because He and His Spirit are greater than the whole universe. He’s so beyond our comprehension that He had to send us someone who could show us His love, someone we could experience, someone who could bring God down to the level of our limited human understanding. So He sent His Son, Jesus.
Jesus lived for 33 years on earth in human form and experienced the joy and sorrows that we as humans experience.1 Jesus has been here, so He can understand us and be the link between us and God.2
We can get personal with Jesus. He even told us to ask Him into our hearts: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”3
He’s the one we can have direct, personal contact with. He is the one we can approach God through.
If you have prayed to receive Jesus as your Savior, you already have that connection. If not, you can make it right now by sincerely praying a simple prayer like the following:
Dear Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I now open the door of my heart and ask You to please come into my life and give me Your free gift of eternal life. Amen.
The story is told of a certain minister who was disturbed to see a shabbily dressed old man go into his church at noon every day and come out again after a few minutes. What could he be doing? He informed the caretaker and asked him to question the old man. After all, the place contained valuable furnishings.
“I go to pray,” the old man said in reply to the caretaker’s questioning.
“Come, come now,” said the other, “you are never long enough in the church to pray.”
“Well, you see,” the old man went on, “I don’t know how to pray a long prayer, but every day at twelve o’clock I just come and say, ‘Jesus, it’s Jim.’ I wait a minute and then come away. Even though it’s just a little prayer, I think He hears me.”
When Jim was injured some time later and taken to the hospital, he had a wonderful influence on the ward. Grumbling patients became cheerful, and often the ward would ring with laughter.
“Well, Jim,” said a nurse to him one day, “the men say you are responsible for this change in the ward. They say you are always happy.”
“Aye, that I am. I can’t help being happy. You see, it’s my visitor. Every day he makes me happy.”
“Your visitor?” The nurse was puzzled. She had noticed that Jim’s chair was always empty during visiting hours, for he was a lonely man, with no relatives.
“Your visitor? But when does he come?”
“Every day,” Jim replied, with a light in his eye. “Yes, every day at twelve o’clock He comes and stands at the foot of my bed. I see Him and He smiles and says, ‘Jim, it’s Jesus.’”
Prayer opens a channel from our emptiness to God’s fullness. It’s the connecting link between human needs and divine resources.
You must learn to make personal contact with the power of God, to let Him do the work of bringing you joy, health, and happiness.—D.B.B.
No man or woman accomplishes so much with so little expenditure of time as when he or she is praying.
Prayer is so simple.
It is like quietly opening a door
And slipping into the very presence of God,
There in the stillness
To listen for His voice.
Perhaps to petition
Or only to listen,
It matters not;
Just to be there,
In His presence,