I believe we too often forget what a privilege it is to pray. At some point, we began to take it for granted. When was the last time you considered what was actually taking place when you began to pray? Prayer is our opportunity to talk to the one and only almighty God of the Universe. We are conversing with the One who designed and created not just ourselves, but everything on this planet and every other planet.
Truth be told, we should all be far too intimidated and awestruck to even utter a word in His presence. In His grace, He has adopted us as sons and daughters into His family (Romans 8:14-17), which means we not only have a right to be in His presence, we have the intimacy of a familial relationship to be able to speak to Him with ease.
As glorious and logic-defying as conversing with our Creator is, we should never lose sight of the privilege it is. When we approach Him in prayer, we need to still our minds and quiet our hearts. This is a moment of intense awe and respect. Over the years, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with my brain’s ability to wander during prayer. As long as our lives are cluttered with things other than God, it’ going to happen. I don’t want you to feel guilty about it, but I do want to remind you to immediately capture the random thoughts and straying attention. Remind yourself to whom you are speaking. I always apologize and ask the Holy Spirit of God to bring my focus back to God and God alone.
We should approach both prayer and Bible study with a sense of expectation. We are meeting with God! What do you suppose He has to teach you today? I can’t think of anything more exciting than learning more about the love and character of Jesus. There is nothing else which is worth our concern. If we get the relationship with Jesus right, everything else will be right by default. He is our center, or at least He should be.
Do you expect to learn more about Jesus when you approach Him? A.W. Tozer said, “I have always felt that when we read and study the Word of God we should have great expectations. We should ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the Person, the glory and the eternal ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We should all do the same thing in prayer.
Prayer and Bible study are not about you. They are always about Christ. Don’t get this confused. The purpose of prayer and study, and indeed our lives, is to bring glory to God. It is for this reason we were created. It is in this purpose we will find our significance and worth.
The next time you engage God in prayer, take a moment to consider to whom it is you are speaking. Let the awe of it wash over you. Quiet your mind and spend some uninterrupted time in His presence. As you study Scripture, ask Him to reveal Himself to you before diving in. Ask Him to show you how every story points to Him. We have an amazing privilege to speak to and learn about God. Don’t waste it with carelessness or taking it for granted. He is our King and He alone is truly awesome.