Know to Whom You Are Praying
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father,” Romans 8:14-15 (NLT).
I love this verse, because often people want to make God more complex. Yet, Paul says we have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba. This is a term in our modern language that is one of the first words a baby learns, Daddy!
We get excited when our child learns to call us Daddy. How often, then, after your child began to call you Dad, did you correct them? Did I ever say, “That’s not really my name. My name is Jason E. McKinnies, son of Michael E. McKinnies, grandson of Cecil E. McKinnies!” No!
To this day, my girls call me Dad, or Daddy. They will continue to call me that because that is the relationship we have. It doesn’t need to get more complex than that.
Why, then, in the spiritual sense, do we feel the need to graduate to the formal when talking with God? We are his children. He is our Father. It doesn’t need to change.
Keep it simple. Enjoy the simplicity of Christ.
“Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God,” 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NLT).
How was Eve seduced? Not by being offered a sip or a peek or a puff, but by the potential to be more spiritual. So, too, false teachers came into the Corinthian congregation, saying that Paul’s teaching was too simple, that there was something deeper they needed to explore and experience.
Many people present a picture of prayer as one of coming into God’s presence. Once we are in, or “have ushered in God presence,” we then spend a whole lot of time talking and trying to convince God of so much.
Many folks won’t pray until we have gained access into His presence.
That seems complex and downright tiring. We act as if we have to whip the church into a frenzy before we can pray. Gather the worshipers! Gather the praisers! We are going to usher in the presence of God!
Let me ask you a simple question: If you have to usher in the presence of God, then where have you been living? Outside of His presence!
God’s presence is not a destination, or a place that I go, or something that I have to usher in. God’s presence is where I live. I live in the presence of God. The absence of God would mean that I am separated from Him, and I am not separated from Him.
As a matter of Scripture, we simply are in God’s presence.
“For in him we live and move and exist,” Acts 17:28 (NLT).
As children of God, we are in God’s presence. So speak to Him. Call on Him.
Near the turn of the century, a little boy, walking along the Mississippi River, saw an old man on the bank and began to chat with him. Suddenly, the little boy saw the majestic riverboat, the River Queen, making her way down the river. As the boat drew closer, the little boy stood up and began to shout at the top of his lungs, “Let me ride! Let me ride!”
The old man looked at him, smiled, and said, “Sit down, sonny. That riverboat’s not going to stop for you.” Then, to the old man’s amazement, the mighty River Queen did indeed slow down and pull up to the bank. As the little boy ran up the gangplank into the arms of the awaiting captain, the old man heard him utter two words that explained it all: “Hi, Dad!”
That’s the way it is with us. “God’s not going to answer you,” say the old men in our lives. “He’s too busy. He’s got elections to oversee and famines to figure out.” Not true. Any of us who have little children know that the cry of our children has precedence over anything else we do. The same is true of God.
Know Who it is you’re talking to, praying to. God, your heavenly Dad. And you have access to Him at all times. Therefore, let’s just talk to our Dad, in simple terms. What a blessing to be able to speak to God in that way.
After all, that’s what He wants.