First an apology – last week I had an issue with back spasms, so obviously didn’t do any writing. However, thanks to my heating pad and some happy pills (muscle relaxers) I am doing much better.Now, on to my thoughts today. For the last four weeks, my morning reading was about prayer, but now the topic at hand is prayer, and I want to share an amazing quote from my book, A Year With God, “ The mid twentieth century minister and writer George Buttrick refers to prayer as ‘a friendship with God.’”
Now, there’s thought to chew on. My mother’s view of God was that Being so high and lofty that no human could really have a relationship with Him; you just had to do your best to honor Him and obey Him, and not dishonor Him. That last part was important to her, so soap in the mouth was the remedy for careless speech or cursing, using the Lord’s Name in vain. Maybe you have heard the song that has this line in it, “St Peter, don’t you call me….” I can’t remember the rest, or “Do Lord or do Lord, oh do remember me,” and somewhere there is a line with Lordy in it. Anyway, those were off limits because they did not honor God….so that was my first view of God, kind of too far away to be reached or to care personally about me. That God had a long white beard and looked down His nose at me.Then, for many years I learned and believed things that made me fear God, that I would mess up, and be punished by God, or that I wouldn’t stay confessed up, and that would cost me. Or that He would return and catch me in sin, and that would not go well. God was to be feared, and I was afraid of Him. And that God had anger in His brown eyes!
Then, I came to understand more fully what it meant to be loved by God. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believed in Him would have eternal life. I learned that Christ paid my sin debt, all of them. Now that is some kind of love! Maybe it took parenting, and understanding and living out a bit of unconditional love to really understand that kind of love and to understand the reality and possibility of my relationship with God.He is my perfect loving heavenly Father, no matter what! He is my friend! I am His friend. And all prayer is – is communication with Him, the same kind of conversation that I would have with any friend…any best friend. Now there’s a thought! God does not want me to be afraid of Him; I am His child. He loves me, personally, warts and all. He wants only that which is best for me, and just as I miss my children when I do not see or talk to them, He misses me and wants to hear my voice. What a thought! A God Who is personal!