Sunday, July 13, 2014

To Pray Is to Be Examined (Prayer Summer 2014)

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
Authentic praying happens in the presence of God. God doesn't "text" from a distance. Praying is a with-God, here-and-now happening.

To pray is to be intimate with God. Into-me-see (intimacy). And God does. God makes his home in me. I host the presence of God (I am a "temple" of the Holy Spirit). Christ, the hope of glory, is in me. I live "in Christ." In God I live and move and have my being. The act of prayer occurs in this intimate environment.

In 1981 I went out to a field to pray. I was reading the Psalms. I came upon "Search me, O God; see if there be any wicked ways in me." I prayed this verse, for me. God spoke and said, "John, I'd like to do that. Just hold still." Like getting a dental x-ray and the technician says "Don't move. Be still."

Part of my ongoing prayer experience is a continual being-searched-out. If formerly I feared this, I don't any longer. I welcome heart checks and gut checks and brain scans from God. Like going to the doctor for an annual "physical," in prayer I receive a daily "spiritual." The result is that I leave my prayer times cleaner and freer. It is a good thing for me to pray in the presence of God.

All I need do is submit to God. I've found that God is love. I am in Christ Jesus; therefore no condemnation comes my way. So I pray "Examine me, O God." Correct me, O God. Straighten me. Heal me. Purge me. Help me. Rescue me. 

As you pray submit to God. Trust him.

Into me, see.