11 Feb A life of prayer
Intimacy with God
A life of prayer is fundamentally synonymous with intimacy with God. Believers ought to desire a deeper connection with God. Just like human relationships, whether they are platonic friendships or romantic relationships such as marriage, in order to have closeness with someone we love, we spend as much quality time with them as possible, we long to know their heart at a more profound level, we yearn to hear their voice and to have meaningful and sometimes casual conversations with them. It is the same way with God. He desires for us to know him intimately, he wants us to come to him and talk to him about anything, that is essentially what prayer is – to simply talk to God.
James 4:8 “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…”
I consider it a privilege to be known by God, to be called His child and to have access to the throne of grace where I can express myself freely, pour out my heart, share my worries and concerns, knowing that He hears me and He answers me.
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Being in the presence of God
When we go into the presence of a Holy and Majestic God, we are faced with a realization that our lives are small and almost insignificant compared to who God is. It is not a bad thing. It actually creates a sense of humility within us and causes us to embrace everything that God is. Every so-called problem vanishes when we enter His presence. Our eyes start to see things from a divine perspective. I like to use the analogy of Mount-Royal lookout. I live in Montreal, and there is this place called Mount-Royal, it has a spectacular view, the climb to get to the top of the mountain is quite a challenge, however, once you get there, you pretty much forget all the pain you’ve endured along the way and you get captivated by the breathtaking beauty of the city and its view from up there. The interesting fact is, all the big houses, large roads and usually intimidating tall buildings suddenly become too tiny, to the point of irrelevancy! You find yourself admiring the natural creation of God such as the sky, the trees, soaking in the fresh air, etc. With this illustration in mind, entering into the presence of God is basically ascending into the spiritual realm where we experience the same view as God. Our problems become too small a thing, our hardships disappear in His presence, our worries and concerns are non-existent, our challenges become much less intimidating, any evil attack against us becomes powerless before us. Nothing is impressive anymore. The Bible says that in His presence there is fullness of joy but I genuinely believe that in His divine presence there is fullness of everything, there are solutions and answers for every single situation and question we may have.
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
When Moses approached the burning bush to see what was happening, God told him not to get any closer and to remove his sandals, for the place where he was standing was holy ground. Figuratively, dirty sandals represent unholiness and to be in the presence of a Holy God, one must purify themselves first. This demonstrates that in order to enter into God’s presence, some qualifications must be met. One must have humility, reverence and a pure heart. Therefore let us get rid of any impurity and anything that could potentially hinder us from experiencing the powerful, rich and transforming presence of God.
Hebrews 10: 19-22 – 19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
As the previous verse clearly states, the only way to be considered pure in the sight of God, is through the blood of Jesus. Nothing can wash our sins away but the blood of Jesus. He made a safe passage for us to come to the Father through his sacrificial death on the cross. He endured the cross for us. Now, we hold the key to holy and sacred places, we can ascend into the presence of God at any moment we want. What a privilege! What a joy!
Psalm 24:3-4 “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…”