John 11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
Welcome To The Light-Washed Path,
The image of Jews stuffing bits of paper, with prayers scrawled on them, into the cracks of the Wailing Wall, reminds me of what prayer is like for many Christians. For many, prayer is like coming to a great barrier that represents a spiritual significance they don’t understand. It’s no wonder that prayer is a burden to so many. Without an understanding it’s like trying to see God through the Wailing Wall. Prayer becomes more of a barrier than a doorway. Many of us know the terrible feeling of tossing out prayers but feeling more like we were participating in a lottery than speaking with God.
We need to begin with an understanding of God’s purpose in prayer. The words of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus reveal the true nature and purpose of prayer:
“…thou hearest me always…”
Prayer is simply meant to be an unbroken life of communion with God, our Father. Prayer didn’t stop when Jesus stopped saying prayers. But He maintained an unbroken stream of consciousness with His Father. We see prayer as the form of communication with God that we’re left with because of man’s fall. Sort of like a spiritual carrier pigeon or God’s answering service. It’s a lot like sticking prayer requests in between the stones of the Wailing Wall and hoping they’ll make it through to “the other side”, like a lottery.
But prayer is really nothing like a lottery. Prayer is God welcoming our heart in communion with Him. It’s touching Him and He us. Jesus said:
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Prayer is spirit to spirit, truth to truth connection. God is Spirit and He is Truth. It is our conflicts with His truth and half-heartedness of spirit, which creates the feeling of a barrier, a Wailing Wall, a lottery. Rather than confidence, knowing He always hears us we have insecurity because of our double-mindedness.
The reason why Jesus indicated that little children, harlots and sinners would have an easier time coming to Him than the professionally religious, was simply because they wouldn’t over complicate their minds when it came to prayer. Prayer is helped by how much you believe not how much you know. If what you think makes you less sure about what you believe, then you need to do an about face and get back to the place where you were able to believe God with what you knew. God will always commune with you on the ground of Truth. Everything else erects a Wailing Wall where your prayer life should be. Prayer is less like voice-mail and more like a hug.
Tomorrow we’ll take another step together, so until then…
Stay On The Path!