Saturday, January 27, 2018

Our Greatest Need Is the Presence of God

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, but didn't want to be with him and know him. 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.. 

My two books are...

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God