Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | January 23, 2014

January 23, 2014 “Hello…What be Thy Name?”

” Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Good Morning Sisters and Brothers in Christ!

I heard a story some time back about a boy who always said his nighttime prayers with his dad at bedside. One evening, however, he laid there silently. His dad invited him to say the Lord’s prayer, as was their nightly custom. The boy said he didn’t want to do that. When his dad asked him why, the boy replied, “I don’t think Art listens to me.” Puzzled, his dad asked, “Art? Who is Art?’, to which his son replied, “You know, dad…Art in heaven! Hello…what be thy name?” 

Of course, this story is apocryphal, but in reality, there are a lot of people who view prayer as a time of laying out requests and expecting answers much the same way a child makes out a Christmas list and expects every desire to be met. With such an attitude, prayer becomes more about what the one praying desires than it is about being in fellowship with God. While we are invited to bring our requests to God and to make our petitions known, in considering our relationship with God and the development of that relationship on a deeper, more intimate level, just spending time with God and developing that relationship should be our primary focus. If we approach prayer with the attitude that we pray because we want something and expect God to grant it, it’s sort of like staying at a hotel and calling down for room service! “Lord…here’s what I want. You can deliver it as soon as possible, please. Thanks.”  Like the little boy in my story, if the expected request doesn’t arrive, we may “phone” down to the front desk asking, “Hello…what be thy name?”  Christian author Oswald Chambers wrote,

“Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off the track. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer.” 

Prayer, suggests Chambers, is much more about our connection with God than it is about getting something we want. God desires much more than a casual relationship with us where he does all the giving and we do all the receiving. He made us. We are His beloved children. Those of you who are parents understand this. Your relationship with your child or children needs to go much deeper than the son or daughter asking you for this or that and expecting an immediate positive response. As they grow, you have much to share with them. You have your own life story to reveal to them, and they have much to share with you. That’s the point of a growing, healthy relationship. When you pray, pray to get hold of God and to know Him more intimately. Don’t worry. He is perfectly capable of answering your prayers and will always do so with your best interests in mind, for he is the “giver of every good and perfect gift.” Better for us to know why this is by getting to know Him intimately than merely basking in his goodness and grace. Make the connection. Get hold of God! Let’s pray!

O Lord, there is so much about You that we desire to know. Reveal more of Your love , goodness, and grace to our hearts. We will never come to know you fully, but continue to fill our hearts with more knowledge of You, that we might overflow with praise, in Jesus Name! Amen!

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