While preparing a lesson about prayer for our home group, a thought came rising to the surface of my mind. It is one that I have applied to the human side of my life, but not really to the spiritual. Maybe it’s because I seek daily communion with God—I don’t know. But all the same, it was very impacting to me.
Prayer lies at the basis of our relationship with God because it is how we communicate with him. A relationship cannot truly exist without communication, for if we don’t talk to or with someone, there is no community—no basis for knowing them. So, if we don’t pray, the most we can refer to God is an as acquaintance.
We all have acquaintances. Those are usually the people whom we’ve met on a casual basis and barely know. Or, the word ‘acquaintance’ can also refer to a friend with whom we once had emotional attachment but, through time and circumstance, no longer have the same kinship. Under normal circumstances, an acquaintance is not the first person that we run to with a problem (although, being in a foreign country, we’ve had to do that a time or two). Rather, we seek someone with whom we have community, someone who truly knows us and cares about our well-being. Since we really don’t know “acquaintances,” we would not usually place deep trust in them.
It’s the same with Jesus.
If we don’t pray on a regular basis, we don’t really know God–we are simply acquainted with Him in some way or another. Most likely, it’s because we attend a church who worships Him. That’s a great start, but attending church doesn’t truly make one a Christian. The Encarta Dictionary defines a Christian as “somebody whose religion is Christianity.” But, in a later definition, it also says “one who is kind and unselfish.” There are people in the world who don’t serve God, but are kind and unselfish. [Case in point: Yesterday, I watched a news video about an atheist who raised money to help a church group clean up atheistic graffiti on their property.]
It comes down to prayer. If we don’t pray, we are just acquainted with Jesus. We might know who He is, but we don’t talk to Him; so, there’s no way that we can really know Him. This is especially sad if He has placed His Spirit within us, because it means that the precious Gift He gave us is either dead, or dying. No, it doesn’t disappear, because God doesn’t operate that way. Rather, it means that our spiritual well is empty.
I am acquainted with a lot of people. But for me, to have a surface relationship with God simply isn’t enough.
“…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2Timothy 1:12b)
“But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death; if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:8-12)
Are you with me? Are you willing to seek more than a surface relationship with Him? I challenge you to give it a try…today. Because I can guarantee you one thing–He is already waiting and ready.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)