Summary: Prayer is keeping company with God. It fulfills us. Prayer is taking the view from above. It assures us.
[Play video-clip: WITHOUT PRAYER]
• This is what it feels like when you live without prayer.
Prayer provides clarity. It is a conversation with God.
• It is a conversation that provides clarity - to our life’s purpose, our life’s path, and our life’s perplexities.
• I see things clearer with prayer. I find strength in prayer. I understand my struggles better because of prayers.
• My conversations with God help me see life from His perspective.
Such conversations does not necessary brings about simple resolutions to my problems or provide easy answers to my needs.
• It enlightens me to His nature and His will for my life. His will is always good.
• He cares not just for my physical needs, not just my material needs, but more so my spiritual needs.
Therefore prayer is MORE THAN just a help-line that we use in crisis.
• Prayer is not a therapy for weak people who need a crutch. Prayer is not putting words to our best wishes. All of these are true of prayer, but it is more.
• It is a conversation with the living God, with or without a need, in or apart from any crisis.
Prayer is keeping company with God. It fulfils us.
We are made to have fellowship with God.
• Blaise Pascal says, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
If prayer is only the cry for help in times of need, then we are in a precarious state, because we don’t always have a sense a need.
• In fact, many do not feel a need for God. The blurry, myopic vision of life has become the norm for them.
• Prayer is optional because God is optional. He is dispensable. He is just a “good to have” in life.
• That probably explains why many struggle with prayer – we feel quite fine without God. Prayer makes sense only when we are in trouble.
The Psalmists paint us a different picture of prayer, especially the psalms of David.
• When you read his psalms, you are reading his prayers to God and his conversations with God.
• David wrote almost half the psalms we have in the Bible and majority of them written in the first person.
Let us read one – Psalm 63.
• It’s a picture of two lovers coming together. David expresses his desire and longing for God. He thinks about His goodness. He trusts that God will protect him and keep him safe, as He has been in the past.
Prayer is ASKING God, but it is more than petition. David keeps company with God. He enjoys God’s presence and accepts His love.
• When Psalm 63 was written, David was in the Desert of Judah. He used his longing for water to describe rather his spiritual longing for God.
• Verse 5 “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.” The Lord’s presence was his fulfilment.
Ultimately, God satisfies him. No water or food can quench the deepest longing of the human heart. Only the Lord can.
• Our greatest need is not physical or material, but spiritual. Until and unless we return to Him in prayer, something will be missing in life.
• Until we understand this, we will not long for God nor pray.
God is gracious. Sometimes, He uses trials and hardships to drive us back to Himself.
• “You have not come to me. If you have, you will be fulfilled.”
Prayer takes the view from above. It assures us.
Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God’s point of view.
• Conversations with God changes us, because they change the way we see life.
• It provides us clarity, as the video-clip highlighted. God, who knows the future in His hands, enlightens us and directs our path.
Moses spent extended time with the Lord while in the wilderness.
• On Mount Sinai, he was with the Lord for 40 days. Exodus 34:29 tells us when he came down, his face was radiant.
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.