This morning I got up early to join the weekly prayer meeting for our Church, we meet down stairs in the Parish lounge. Our Church has all kinds of struggles and difficulties, but it has some wonderfully welcoming and committed people, and, not unrelated to that, it has a small group who faithfully pray together every week. Usually I canâ€™t make the time because I need to be on the train to college.
As the sun is full of light, the ocean full of water,
Heaven full of glory, so may my heart be full of your Spirit.
Pointless are all your purposes to love,
and the redemption paid by Jesus,
unless your Spirit works within,
regenerating my heart,
giving me eyes to see Jesus,
showing me the realities of the unseen world.
Where can God be found?
â€œOur fathers worshiped on this mountain, yet you |Jews| say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.â€
Jesus told her, â€œBelieve Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.â€
The woman said to Him, â€œI know that Messiah is comingâ€ (who is called Christ). â€œWhen He comes, He will explain everything to us.â€â€ (John 4:20-25 HCSB)
How do we not know what we are made to know?
â€˜If humanity is made for the knowledge of God, why is it that many people do not feel the need of this knowledge, or seek God out?â€™
We need to step back again for a moment. It seems at this point every step forward needs careful prodding with the toes first to make sure we are on firm ground.
Apart from telling us not to babble on in prayer, Matthew 6:7-13 also teaches us that the things for which we pray are reshaped as we come to understand that prayer begins with God.
â€œWhen you pray, donâ€™t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine theyâ€™ll be heard for their many words. Donâ€™t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.
â€œTherefore, you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.â€
(Matt 6:7-13 HCSB)
When we meet together to pray, itâ€™s easy to feel inadequate or not eloquent enough to lead in prayer.
Often Iâ€™ll sit in silence, or worse, fall into the verbose, formulaic, incantations. But Iâ€™ve found that the knowledge that prayer starts with God also helps me as I seek to understand how we should pray when we meet together.
Romans 3:10-12 sets out Godâ€™s indictment against us with blushing starkness.
â€œThere is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one.â€ (Rom 3:10-12 HCSB)