”When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul” (Jer 29:13)
Don’t you hate it when people call you on the phone and don’t identify themselves? They just start talking as soon as you answer, assuming you know who it is. When you don’t know the person on the other end, it affects your conversation a lot. You don’t know what tone to use. You’re a little more guarded.
Even when you’re talking with someone in person, if you don’t know much about that person, you tend to be more formal. I can always tell when people I run into around town are familiar with me by the way they smile and call me a certain name but when people call me pastor or stare blankly at me, I know obviously they are unfamiliar with me.
Proximity and relationship determine how you talk to somebody while what you know about somebody determines your conversation with that person.
The same is true with God. Your understanding of what God is really like shapes everything else in your life, including your prayer life.
A lot of people have misconceptions about God. Some people think He’s a grumpy God, who’s cranky and upset all the time, and they think they can never please Him. Some people picture the “crouching tiger” God, who is ready to pounce on them when they make the wrong move. Some people have the flaky Father God, who’s moody and changes Hus mind continually about them.
Some people think of God as the cosmic cop, whose goal is just to make sure you keep the rules, or the dictator God, who’s never satisfied and always demanding more and more and more. And some people have no idea of Him and just make Him into any form they want.
Ever heard somebody say, “I like to think of God as . . .”? Well, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t really matter what you think God is like. It matters what the Bible says He is!
W. Tozer wrote, “What comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you, because it affects everything else in your life.”
It’s important that you know the real God. If you have a misconception about Him, then prayer is going to be a duty and most unrewarding. God doesn’t want you to pray out of guilt! He wants you to talk to Him because you love Him. And you will love Him more as you get to know Him better through His Word.
* Based on what you’ve learned from God’s Word, what words would you use to describe God?
* Why do many people want to choose what they think God is like?
* You likely want others to know you for who you really are, and you want to be truly known and understood. How and why do you think God is the same way?
Prayer: Day by Day, dear Lord of you three things I pray, to see you more clearly, love you more dearly, follow you more dearly, day by day. Amen
(C) Adeyemi Agbelusi