As many of you know, my wife Kathy and I have been married for over 47 years. Of course, when you are married for that long, you have your ups and your downs. But, you work together to get through the bad times and together celebrate the good times.
Something else happens when you’ve been married as long as we have. You think, say, and feel the same things at the same time. Although, of course, we are pretty much in sync when we’re happy or sad, we may just display it differently.
The funny thing that happens quite often is saying the same thing at the same time or thinking the same thing simultaneously. For example, I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times Kathy or I will mention something, like, “We should go to Kohl’s and pick up some new pillows.” Then the other, usually me, will say, “I was just thinking we should take advantage of the 30% off sale at Kohl’s and get those new pillows we’ve been talking about getting.”
It’s a silly, crazy incident involving shopping, eating out, and even what television show is on that night. It always makes us laugh when we are thinking and saying the same thing at the same time. I guess you might call it one of our good times.
In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6, Jesus tells us about and how to pray. However, I believe one of the most profound statements He makes is found in verse eight.
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
What an interesting statement, yet, it is also logical. If God is Omniscient, all-knowing, then it stands to reason He knows what we need before we ask for it.
So, the question is, why should I bother to pray at all if God already knows my needs? That question is almost like saying, “Why should I go to church every week since God is Omnipresent (He’s everywhere)?
Okay, two questions with similar answers. Let’s take them on, one at a time. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us not to babble when we pray. Another words, we don’t need to, or should we go on and on, and on, when we pray. You can if you want, but it doesn’t get you any better results than being to the point and concise.
Jesus is saying, prayer is not about what you need and what I’ll give you. It’s about having a relationship with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He wants us to talk to Him. He likes us to talk to Him; Jesus enjoys hearing from us regularly.
Jesus likes to have conversations with us. I was reading a prayer devotion the other day, and it said, “Imagine you’re sitting on a bench with Jesus, and He invites you to talk to Him about anything? You can talk to Him about your needs or your wants. You can discuss an irritating person in your life or talk about someone who is severely ill.”
Then the prayer leader wrote, “What would you talk to Him about, and what would Jesus say to you?”
For many years I’ve prayed this way with Jesus. I imagine myself in a cabin I once stayed in with my students back in the 1990s in North Carolina. I come walking out of the house onto the front porch. There are several rocking chairs on the porch. I step off the deck and walk across the rocky driveway when I see someone walking up from the road.
It’s Jesus. It’s the Jesus I know from the books I’ve read and pictures I’ve seen. He has a white robe and a blue sash, and as we both approach the bench, he smiles and waves at me. In my prayers, I meet Jesus at the bench, and we both sit down. There’s not a lot of conversation at first, but I always seem to lay my head on His lap as He puts His warm, reassuring hands on my back.
That’s the Jesus we should be praying to. The personal, loving, caring Jesus who wants a personal relationship with us. Jesus wants to meet you where you are. If that’s a bench on a mountain, that’s okay. If it’s walking with you in the early morning light, that works too.
Remember, Jesus wants to spend time with you. He wants to hear from you, so take advantage of every opportunity you can to do just that.
Oh, and why bother going to church every Sunday if Jesus is always present with us? Because it deepens our relationship with Him as we commune with Him through His body and blood. It also builds relationships with fellow Christians with who we are also in communion (people we share like thoughts with, such as our faith and love of the Lord.)
Spend time in prayer. Make it personal. Jesus is always willing to come to wherever you are in life.
Remember Christ’s words from Matthew 28:20b,
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
May the Lord bless your day, keep you safe and well, and always hold you in His loving arms.