Once upon a time, GOD was all alone. I’m going to hazard a guess that He did have in mind the Name that He would later give Himself in relating to His chosen people. The first person to whom He revealed its meaning was Moses, as per the following verses:
5 Then YAHWEH came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, YAHWEH. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “YAHWEH, YAHWEH, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
I elaborate upon the Name of God in One Day With The Creator, but the point I want to make here is that these sterling qualities of our God would be unnecessary if He had no one upon whom to lavish His relentless love and goodness. In that vein, think about the person you love the most. To what degree has heartfelt COMMUNICATION with him/her factored in to the quality of your relationship? How could you improve upon it?
The fact is that true love must communicate. The prefix “com” means “together with,” and “uni” means “ONE.” The goal of genuine communication is one-ness with another person, at least in regard to the issue being discussed. We see this truth in Jesus’ passionate communication with his Father not long before his death.
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
An appropriate subtitle for this letter could be Constantly Conversing with the Creator. That is what God has made available to each of His children. Here in the USA, this month’s national holiday of Thanksgiving should remind us to profusely express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father every day of the year. Biblically, much of what is referred to as “prayer” is giving thanks, praising God and Christ, and simply expressing our love for them.
For example, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17)
In this year’s next-to-last FRUIT OF D’VINE, it’s on my heart to share some things about what might be the most vital aspect of our Christian lives—PRAYER. Obviously, this is a huge topic, which we exposit in other teachings on our website, so I’ll set forth just some basic principles. My goal is to help both myself and you deepen the intimacy of our communication with The One who burns with desire to do every good thing for you that He possibly can.
First of all, prayer orients us toward our Father and our Lord Jesus, and thus takes the focus off ourselves. Rather than concentrating on, and maybe stressing about, our own needs, prayer directs us to look up to The One who has promised to meet our needs. Regarding the posture we should maintain in our relationship with our Father, I guess each of us can say that, “Life is looking up!” And our God is thrilled whenever we turn to Him for anything. Ditto for when we come to Him in intercessory prayer for others.
It is sad that so many of our brethren in Christ are being deprived of the truth that “IN all things God is at work for the good of those who love Him” (Rom. 8:28 NIV). They are not being taught that God always wants to do “exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think,” and thus many often pray: “If it be your will, please heal me.” As you may have heard, the Word of God is the Will of God, and Jesus showed us that it is always God’s will to heal and deliver us. When it comes to having a vibrant prayer life, an accurate knowledge of God’s Truth is indispensable.
1 John 5:14-15
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
I love the following definition of prayer I once heard: “Prayer is not forcing God’s reluctance, but rather taking hold of His willingness.” Thus, the typical, palms together “praying hands” model seems inadequate, unless one is looking to receive handcuffs. I assert that, like a receiver in football, praying hands are open and ready to take hold of the blessings God longs to shower upon us. If you, the receiver, “run your pattern” as the Coach designed it, your Quarterback (the Lord) will throw the ball right into your hands.
In particular, intercessory prayer gives God/Christ entrée into Satan’s realm. Given God’s nature, and His promises to finally rid the world of evil, it is clear that He and the Lord do not now have carte blanche to intervene and destroy all wickedness—as one day they will do. Presently, they need our prayers to invite them into this earthly realm so they can work on our behalf. The prayers of God’s people have enabled Him to turn countless critical situations into victories. And when we get to the Judgment Seat of Christ, we will find out that our prayers of today are making an “eternal” (everlasting) difference.
For most of this year, these have been my “theme verses.” In other words, I’m trying to live this way.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for NOTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Greek word translated “anxious” literally means “divided mind,” and the lexical definition is “to be troubled with cares.” The solution: Cast ALL your cares on Him, because He cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7). How easy it seems for me NOT to do that, but lately I’ve been doing a little better at grabbing my mind and focusing on how much God cares for me, and upon His limitless desire and resources to do for me whatever I need. And then I tell myself, “I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in this situation!”
ALWAYS means ALWAYS, NOTHING means NOTHING…and…EVERYTHING means EVERYTHING!!! Let us continue to strive toward those godly absolutes, bolstered by His constant love.
Although you don’t hear it as much these days, “Providence” was often used as a title for God. I think that is fitting, because the word comes from the prefix “before” and the verb “to see.” A dictionary definition is, “the foreseeing care and guidance of God.” He can see farther ahead than you and I can, and we can rest assured that He is at work to give us all good things and to help us maximize our individual ministries. Given that “Yahweh Elohim” is how He is so often referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures, perhaps we can say that “Providence” is God’s middle name.
Enjoy your daily communication with the Creator, your Father, whose love for, and care of, you know no bounds. Always remember that “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).