“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
A pastor began his message reading Psalm 42. He read, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” He had no sooner asked the question of the psalmist, “When can I go and meet with God?” when the voice of a little child, about six years of age, loudly proclaimed, “Right now!”
At least someone was listening, and although the pastor hadn’t expected an answer to that rhetorical question, the simplicity and honesty of the child’s response was far more moving and sincere than anything anyone could have said. When can I go and meet with God? Right now! Suppose, just suppose for a moment that you were to have an audience with the Creator, the Almighty who knows neither beginning nor ending, the Alpha and Omega, the Supreme Judge of the Universe, what would you say? ”Just a minute,” you may be thinking? “All those titles sound rather scary, and besides, I don’t know what I would say.”
If, however, God is your heavenly Father, and you know that you are His child, and besides, every day you spend time in His presence as you open your heart in prayer, there is nothing frightening about meeting with Him. If you had a meeting with a business executive, say, an acquaintance with whom you do business, no doubt you would think about your presentation– what you would say and the order in which you would present your case. If, on the other hand, you were meeting a close friend for lunch, you would probably just talk in random sequence. As you thought of something important, you’d just say it, right?
Well, when you meet with God, on occasion both approaches are valid. You don’t have to prepare a sales presentation when you talk with your heavenly Father. You can just say what’s on your heart. But if the prayers of Paul in the New Testament form a pattern for our prayers (and I believe they should), there are certainly elements which should be included in our prayers. Like what? First, the ingredient of thanksgiving. Before you ask God for anything, focus on what He has already done for you.
Sometimes this necessitates reflection, pondering God’s goodness in the past, momentarily forgetting the needs that you have. “Pray continually,” says Paul, adding, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:17,18). To the Philippians Paul wrote, “…In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Next, include the element of worship and praise.
This changes your focus from what you want to who God is, and it is amazing how quickly your problems get dwarfed when you really see the greatness and majesty of the Almighty. A few moments of reflection on hymns or songs such as Jack Hayford’s “Majesty,” or the old favorite, “How Great Thou Art,” begin to liberate your downtrodden spirit. As you reflect, search your own heart. Call this confession. “If we confess our sins,” writes John, “he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Then comes the petitions or requests. “We have not because we ask not,” wrote James, the half-brother of Jesus. John 16:24 commands, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” “When can I meet with God?” asked the psalmist. Why not take the advice of a little boy who suggested, “Right now!” Yes, why not?
Re-Shared with kind permission - Thank You
Written by Harold J. Sala www.guidelines.org
“The preceding material was written by Harold J. Sala, and is copyrighted. Reproduction for sale or financial profit is prohibited. Permission to reproduce this article was granted by Guidelines, Inc.”
04. Sept. 2009