Prayer is Relational

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The old preacher A.W. Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”[1] In the gospel, we learn that  we need not be unnecessarily afraid of God or avoid him, but should approach him regularly in prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).  God is holy, but we need not run from him! All of our sins are separated from us and we are seen as Christ is—blameless, holy, and loved. We have a Father who protects us, not a bully who taunts us. We have a King who leads us, not a boss who badgers us. We have a Savior who keeps us, not a friend who abandons us. God cherishes his children. How you think about God will determine the quality and frequency of your prayers to him.

Prayer is something that is practiced in virtually every religion in some form or another. As relational beings, humans long to feel and be connected to themselves, others, and ultimately, their god. And yet, unlike other religions, the Christian faith erupts on the scene with something that isn’t found anywhere else. As the children of God, we experience something of unparalleled significance—knowing God closely. There is real intimacy, a warmness between children crying out “Abba, Father!” (Gal. 4:6) and his responding in love.

And yet, while we enjoy this free access to our heavenly Father, if there is one thing that is consistent across the board with Christians, it is that we all struggle at various times and ways with our prayer life (pastors, theologians, and the giants of church history included!). You see, prayer is neither easy nor difficult all the time. At its core, prayer is relational, which means that it must be looked after, tended to, and cared for much like a garden.

Excerpt from The New Believer's Guide to the Christian Life: What Will Change, What Won't, and Why It Matters, pp. 77-78.


[1] Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life, Harper Collins: San Fransisco (1961), p. 1.