Prayer is the doorway to experiencing God.
Yes, we can know His presence in corporate worship. We can enjoy the anointing and movements of the Spirit through the preaching of the Word.
But personal experience comes as we grow to know Him for ourselves.
Many people live a shadow spiritual life. They stand in the half-light of a saved life, but lack vital engagement and daily connection.
Certainly being saved and assured of your destination is a marvellous thing, but God wants to also enjoy the journey there together with you. His hand is extended and His face turned in your direction, calling you to know Him.
Prayer is the place where this knowing blossoms and flourishes into friendship.
There is such a broad and magnificent spectrum of experience awaiting you, so many colours and hues that make up this palette we call praying.
More than “saying your prayers” or repeating your dutiful thanksgivings, prayer is an ever-deepening, always surprising, endlessly delightful, road of discovery.
We find out who we are, and who He is. We open our heart in unfeigned trust and find that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He ministers to the person behind the person, and draws the real you to the surface to fully explore all that this life means and can be.
“Look at this”
“Did you know?”
Conversation with the King.
You are not barred from entry, or pinned on the periphery looking through the window grill. Your place is set, your name is inscribed on the hands that long to draw you close.
Prayer, dear friend, is the doorway that will lead you there.
Will it happen overnight? Maybe not. We are trained to live on the surface, to deny our genuine nature and focus on the outward. Digging deep and plumbing the depths demands change.
Is it easy? Simple, yes, easy, no. The prayer palette has many comforts but also carries an arsenal of weaponry you’ll need to fight invisible enemies within and without to obtain your prize. Expect resistance knowing you have more than enough resolve and revelation to raze it to the ground.
Can I be assured that I’ll find what I am looking for? Indeed, but you’ll most likely find that what you think you are looking for now, what you believe will give you they satisfaction you crave, is a pale reflection of the glory that the Father actually wants to bring you into. “We see through a glass darkly”, that’s how Paul described it, but the closer we get to the light the more clarity we enjoy. The pitiful rewards of the world fall away in the light of eternity and our perspectives are turned on their head.
The tools have been placed in your hand to win, to overcome, to receive and to contribute at a level you presently think impossible.
The Word of God is in your hand, a treasure chest of keys to open spiritual doors, each one leads to experiencing the Father’s great power and love. Pull them out and take a look at the tags: “faith”, “hope”, “love”, “joy”, “peace”, “patience”, “goodness”, “kindness”, “power”, “righteousness”, “holiness”, “revelation”, “eternity”…
These are more than words. More than concepts. More than theology.
There are invitations.
Invitations to know Him. To experience God’s presence and reality.
How do we step from assent and nodding our head in agreement with a concept, to actually experiencing it for ourselves?
I think Jesus said it best (He’s good at doing that!):
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 KJV)
Your hunger for the real thing will lead you.
Follow your hunger and thirst for God into the prayer closet, away from other things that vie for your affections and attention, and focus your heart on the priceless reward of prayer – knowing God in ever-deepening, ever-more-delightful communion and connection.