Can We Be Friends...?
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
We all have a friend who never contacts us without an agenda….whether it is to borrow something, to ask a favor, or something that requires a little more of a commitment. We love them, but sometimes we wish they would call just because they like us and want to see us; they just want to know how we are doing and spend a little time together. If they only call when they need something, it is hard not to think, I wonder what they want this time?
Recently, it occurred to me that we often treat God the same way. There was a time when I did not even know how to talk to Him if I wasn’t asking for something! We come to Him with only a few minutes of spare time in our hectic schedules, forgetting that He gave us life – every moment of our lives is rightfully His – and we start off with a laundry list of things we need from Him. The amazing thing is, He loves us so much that He often answers those prayers even though it must hurt His heart to know that we only talk to Him when we need something.
Pastor Benny Hinn says that if he has ten minutes to pray, he spends nine of those minutes in worship. God already knows what is on our hearts. His Holy Spirit lives inside us and He can hear our innermost thoughts and intentions. In fact, He knows our hearts better than we know them ourselves. What He wants is an intimate relationship with us. He wants us to spend time with Him and listen for His still small voice. How can we obey Him if we don’t hear Him speak to us? If you think you never hear from God, stop and consider how much time you spend listening.
There is a great acronym for prayer called ACTS. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. That is a great way to approach God. Begin by telling Him all the ways you love and adore Him. Confess your sins, thank Him for everything He has done for you – really give it some thought, and be creative! Then, and only then, present your requests to Him…and you might let your first request be, “Father, You already know what is on my heart. Tell me what is on Your heart. I want to hear Your voice. I want to feel Your embrace. I want to be overwhelmed in Your Presence.” Then imagine yourself as His child, standing before your great big Daddy-God. Raise your arms and let Him draw you up onto His lap. Lay your head on His massive chest and imagine His arms wrapping around you in a comforting embrace. Then just sit there like a child and rest in your Father’s lap. Let Him fill you with a sense of His overwhelming love. It works every time for me!
Prayer: Abba Father, You are such a good, good Father and a gentle, kind and loving Lord. Thank You for being our friend. Forgive us when we treat You like a Santa Claus God, and only come to You as an after-thought in the spare moments of our day. Help us make a commitment to put You first in all things, including our time – the one commodity that is more precious than gold; the only thing we cannot produce more of. Help us seek You with our whole hearts. Teach us how to talk with You, not pray at You. Thank You for wanting an intimate, personal relationship with us. Help us know You better. We want to be the friends You deserve us to be. Teach us to sit with You in the quiet moments and soak in the beauty of Your Presence. We want to come to You because we want to spend time in Your Presence, not just because we need something. We ask that You would lead us, guide us and teach us to love You more, and expand our capacity to love You, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6