Prayer is the conversation of friends. It is not a mere convenience for letting God know what we are thinking or what we want. Prayer is part of the reason for which we were made. It is at the heart of God’s plan for our rescue.
To understand the tremendous privilege and importance of prayer, we need to see it in the context of God’s purpose and desire to have a relationship with His people. It should not be possible for us to say: ‘I will pray or I won’t not pray’, because it is not a question of pleasing ourselves, to be a Christian and to pray mean the same thing.
It is not something that can be left to our own inconsistent impulses.
A Christian is someone who knows God through Jesus the Christ and to know God is to communicate with Him.
In the creation account in Genesis 1:26 – 27 we read: Then God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the Earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the Earth. so God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him male and female He created them.
Instead of saying ‘I will’, God instead says ‘let us’. It suggests a conversation within God, revealing a God who is both plural and communal.
God creates through His word and now that word is addressed to Himself. God is personal and He exists in community, God addresses Himself but He can only do this because He has a spirit who is both one with Him and distinct from Him at the same time. Here we see the first hint of a trinitarian revelation, the fact that God is three in one.
Whereas the plants and animals are made according to their kinds in Genesis 1:11, the man and woman are made according to God’s likeness.
One of the things that constitutes the image of God in man is this element of a communal nature. The God who is relational, makes us relational beings. He did not make a solitary but as male and female. We are made to exist in and we are made for community or communion with God with God.
Prophetic Word: We have been created in the image of our Father. He does not have an independent heart but is in communion with the Son and Spirit. To reflect His image, is to be in communion with the body of Christ. The pattern I have set for your life is to learn to live in communion not dependency. Dependency is the spirit of the slave, communion is the spirit of sonship and freedom. God is not calling us to dependency on Him but to communion with Him.
The trinitarian community, the three in one God graciously extends His communal life to us. He did not make us because of a lack within Himself. God exists, as He has always been for all eternity in the fulfilled, complete relationships of the Trinity Father, Son and Holy Spirit in perfect unity.
God has no need of a relationship outside of Himself. Yet in an act of sheer grace, He created us to share the communal life.
The mystery of creation is not is there a God who made this world? That is to get things the wrong way around. Instead our starting point should not be the reality of the world but the reality of God. When we do that, the question becomes ‘Why is there a world made by such a God? Why should God make us when He was rich in Himself?’
The answer to the mystery is simple Grace. Creation is an act of grace in which God invites us to share the love of the trinitarian life. God graciously purposes to have relationship with people. The mystery of creation is that God should desire to enter into a relationship with His creatures outside of His Trinitarian being.
This mystery is the foundation of prayer and not only of prayer but of human existence.
We are created to be God’s counterpart and to answer His loving self-communication with responsive love.
God is not some abstract, absolute force or sense of transcendence, He is personal, He hears, He sees, He smiles. He is the God who inclines His ear and opens His eyes, reveals His heart.
And although this is language by which God assigns Himself human qualities to accommodate our limited understanding, none the less it speaks truth of God’s nature and enables us to experience prayer as both personal and relational through Jesus.