The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"A Heart Like This"
Part 4 - The One To Whom We Pray
Sometimes as I begin to pray, the thought occurs, "I am expressing myself to a perfectly unselfish Being. "God is love… Charity (love) seeketh not her own" (I Corinthian 4:8; I Corinthians 13:5).
Bells do not ring when the realization comes to mind. Bright lights do not shine, nor do horns blow. Something, however, happens in my heart and mind as I remember the good and glorious One I address.
First, I realize I must not project my own earthly and human sensibilities onto our Heavenly Father. In even our best times, we cannot completely escape the remnants or the present sensibilities of our flesh that knows nothing of perfect unselfishness. Through Christ, of course, God's love dwells in the "new creature" of our innermost spiritual being (Romans 5:5; II Corinthians 5:17). He works in us to conform us to the Savior's wondrous image of devotion to others. We see countless expressions of the love of Christ in our brothers and sisters. We rejoice when the Holy Spirit leads us in our own experience of our Lord's sublime unselfishness. However, all believers are works in progress regarding the knowledge, reception, and expression of love - "increase more and more" (I Thessalonians 4:9-10). Thus, we possess no personal frame of reference for absolute devotion to others.
Thus, when I remember the nature of love that comprises the heart of the God to whom I pray, the thought stills my heart for a moment. What does one say to One so utterly good and gracious? Praise seems the best option, and then thanksgiving for how often I have been been the beneficiary of God's love. "I praise You, Father, that You are love. I thank You for how You love." The prayers that follow may not be different in content than they would have been apart from remembering God's character. They do, however, seem to bear a different intent. I pray with a different attitude, hopefully one more likely to be graced by love, wonder, reverence, and the determination to avoid at all costs prayers such as James warned against: "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye many consume it upon your own lusts" (James 4:3).
"Lord, teach us to pray" asked the disciples (Luke 11:1). They had no idea how monumental their request, or how eternally magnificent would be their Master's instruction. Indeed, prayer reveals both the character and capability of God (with emphasis on the former). Why would an eternal and infinite being desire communion with creatures like ourselves? "What is man... that Thou shouldest set Thy heart upon him?" (Job 7:17). While countless answers address the question, one thing is certain: the living and true God must be lovingly unselfish to a degree we will never fully fathom. He is, and such remembrance as we approach Him in prayer goes far in forming the motivation and attitude that leads our hearts rightly and reverently to His heart…
"But as for me, I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple."
"The love of Christ… passeth knowledge."
Weekly Memory Verse
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:4)