|The River Raisin|
When praying, I request. I ask, of God.
I have asked God for many things over the years. I have seen and experienced the response of God to my requests. This is appropriate. Just as a child in need comes to their loving parent, I bring my neediness to God.
But prayer is more than this. Prayer is relationship with God. Just as a child needs the presence of their father and mother, I need the felt, experiential presence of my God. Ultimately I need relationship more than I need answers to prayer. As much as God responds to my requests, there is something God wants more than this. Imagine a child who only approached their father with requests. God wants me to love him, and he wants to love me, in relationship.
I like what Philip Yancey writes about this:
"Prayer that focuses on God, meditative prayer, can serve as a kind of self-forgetfulness. Some have called it a “useless” act because we do it not for the sake of getting something out of it, but spontaneously, as uselessly as a child at play. After an extended time with God, my urgent requests, which had seemed so significant, took on a new light. I began to ask them for God’s sake, not my own. Though my needs may drive me to prayer, there I come face-to-face with my greatest need: an encounter with God’s own self." (Yancey, Prayer, Kindle Locations 1023-1026)
As I pray God brings me face to face with my greatest need, which is... God..