“The number one thing that prayer changes is: us!” R.C. Sproul
I enjoy Theology. Theology is the study of God, and there is a significant difference (I believe) between being a student of Theology and being a Theologian. Studying the study of God and studying God Himself are two different things. When I was getting to know my wife at the beginning of our relationship I definitely asked people who she was, what she did, etc. But none of those things helped me to get to know her as much as when I actually talked to her. Now obviously a little bit of talking turned into A LOT of talking, and so eventually we both decided that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives getting to know each other. I have become addicted to a relationship with God; a relationship being all that it is: full of conversation, learn how the other person is and thinks, etc. Prayer is essential to Theology. What would it be if, in our engagement, I decided that I would get to know Marissa without talking to her. It would be absurd! But I have met some people that study who God is without conversation with Him. And when they do talk to Him, they come with fear (and not a fear as reverence) of doing it wrong. That fear of course is based on not knowing Him and His desire for us. It’s important to have a proper view of the One we are praying to, but the greatest mind engaging in the best possible revelation of who God is, is still just whistling in the darkness of a dimly lit mirror. Fortunately, the One who knows our frame is so merciful in our coming. Really, we could not come (period) to Jesus without the Father drawing us (John.6.44). The feeble prayers that we offer up are offerings of a creature begging (in one form or another) to it’s Creator. And this Creator created the creature (that is coming) for the very act of that creature coming.
I’m a big advocate for A LOT of prayer. Prayer changes things. When we pray, God enjoys to move in the world and in lives of people. The incredible mystery in the sovereignty of God is that He enjoys conversation and partnership with us. The most incredible thing that prayer changes, though, is: us. As we wait in weakness, and continually return to the place of silence (sometimes solitude), and engage in this active faith, God shapes us and, often, reveals Himself to us. Considering all the things that we could give ourselves to, it seems that prayer is the essential for a meaningful, vibrant, and incredible life.
Marissa and I are moving in 4 weeks, and how this “prayer thing” plays out in our lives is absolutely crucial. We cannot (in our own power) do this. And we are dependent on God for the effectiveness of our place in this new season. To see, though, how God has answered prayers before we prayed them is amazing. For us, prayer is not an ATM machine that we go to when we need something, but rather it’s a communion with our Father in Heaven who knows all our needs, and fulfills all those needs (Matt.6.8). It is eerie how God has provided for us through His Bride (the Body of Christ). Things that were in the back of our heads as things that needed to get done, were taken care of before we fervently asked for them. He is utterly prevenient in our journey of following Him; showing us that the path He creates for us is really a creative expression of His love for us, and His love for the world. It’s about His love for the world because this new chapter that we’re entering into is not about building our own kingdom, but the Kingdom that does not fade or come to an end and to love others with a love that does not quit. It’s a love that He defines; and we pray that He will continue to define that perfect love to the world through the imperfect Bidderman’s.