The Center and Heart

Perry LeFevre wrote a book entitled Understanding of Prayer.  In the book he said that prayer is “the very center and heart of theology.”  The word “theology” literally means “the study of God.”  If we are going to understand God we are going to have to understand prayer.  LeFevre also says  that prayer is the essence of our spirituality.  As we pray we learn more about God.  When we spend time in prayer, real time with God, He begins to reveal His will to us, His heart to us and His desires to us.  If we want to understand the Bible, we have to understand prayer.  If we want to learn about God we have to learn about prayer.“The issue of prayer is not prayer; the issue of prayer is God.”  I would love to help you see not only the wisdom of that previous statement, but I wish I could help you to understand how vital that statement really is. Prayer is NOT about praying; it is about God; about knowing Him, learning from Him and finding His will for our lives.  The greatest motivation for prayer is one of simple obedience to our Heavenly Father, whom we love so very much.  The question of prayer is not whether or not we like to pray; the question of prayer is whether or not we love and will honor God.  Prayer is the avenue into God’s presence.  Prayer is the house where God abides.  Prayer is the life blood of knowing the Father!
W.E. Vine said that prayer “is the recognition of, and the committal of ourselves and our matters to the God that we know is there.”  When you pray are you assured NOT ONLY that God is there, but that you have His full attention?  That He is listening, even waiting for you and the time that you will spend together?  Prayer then becomes so much more that a litany of our needs rattled off to a God that we want to do for us what we have asked; it is the privilege and the opportunity to know Him; TO REALLY KNOW GOD!  It is the opportunity to see what it is that moves God’s hand.  It is the blessing of hearing His voice and knowing that you are His beloved.  It is the chance to get involved with the things that cause God to move in this world.
Prayer should be a preoccupation with God’s will more than with our own.  True prayer is always God-centered rather than need-centered; want-centered or even hope-centered.  True prayer is learning to know God intimately and what it is that He wants to do not only in you, but with you and through you in the world that you are part of.  This past Sunday I made a statement:  “All that true prayer seeks is God Himself; for with God you have everything that you need.”  All too often we come to God in prayer with an agenda:  “Lord I need this or that and here is how You need to answer that prayer.”  As we bring our needs to God we should be willing for God to meet those needs as He wishes to meet them.  That way the focus is on Him and not on ourselves.  After all, the Bible is explicitly clear, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).  Everett F. Harrison said, “The true aim of prayer is not the imposition of our wills upon God, but the hallowing of His sacred name, the extension of HIS kingdom [and] our submission to His will.”
To know God we must pray!  I urge you to take the time TODAY to spend time with God and pray!

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