Prayer and the Nature of God

For those who have been part of the church for very long, there are probably people whose prayers you especially appreciate. During our years in Arkansas, I loved to see Charles Pittman step to the microphone to lead a prayer in the worship service. Mr. Pittman is a retired English professor, so it is no surprise that he has an eloquent way with words. More importantly, it is clear that he engages regularly in prayer. His words are those of someone very familiar with the One to whom he is speaking.
As we study prayer this month, we might think of people like that or about practical ways that we can improve our prayer habits. However it is likely that the most important things we can learn about prayer are not about us, but about God. In his book, The Doctrine of Prayer, T.W. Hunt describes why the nature of God should affect how we see prayer.
“Prayer can have no meaning unless it takes into account God’s total nature. He is holy; we come to Him on those grounds. He is love; we pray knowing that He is concerned about our needs. Because He is merciful, God understands and cares about human need. In most of the prayers of biblical characters, God took the initiative. The greatest saints have always known intuitively, from the depths of their spiritual nature, that God desires to provide for His own. God has chosen to relate Himself to us as a loving Father. He is also shepherd, keeper, refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1), and a sun and shield (Ps. 84:11).”
If Christians could remember that is the God who tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17), frequent prayer might not be such a challenge. He truly loves us and cares for us. Let’s talk more to Him.
– Brian
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” – Psalm 103:8

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