We’re talking about prayer around the table, and how God invites us to call out to Him. And I feel sure that most of us are thinking of those pressing things we’ve been asking about– maybe feeling relieved to hear that God actually wants us to pour out those needs to His listening heart. But the song lyrics keep running through my head: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? ” (Psalm 42:1-2) And it seems to me that all these verses we are reading have more to do with relationship than they do about fixing our problems.
When He says “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for….” (Matthew 7:7), Jesus was talking to hearts that are hungry to be close to God, people who will continue knocking on doors of opportunity to know Him better, who persist in wrestling with the deep questions of life in order to understand them in His light. When we persevere in coming to Him as the needy people that we are, we discover His heart toward us, an abundant flow of grace. This is how the Church-planter could claim “In everything…present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) And it strikes me how that peace is not a passive feel-good vibe but an active transforming Presence within us. Whatever circumstances are on our hearts, when we answer His invitation to come, He gives us the best answer we could hope for in return– Himself, who is the very Prince of Peace. “Keep on seeking and you will find…” (Matthew 7:7).
This invitation to come near is about taking our eyes off our needs and problems, and instead focusing our minds and hearts on Jesus. He is calling us to long for Him– to leave our cares in His capable hands and pursue relationship with Him. He understands what we need most and is ready to tell us, if we will only learn to come and to listen.
Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’Jeremiah 33:3
How we direct our eyes, minds, hearts, and hands in the everyday will determine who we ultimately worship and what we ultimately become.Ruth Chou Simons