Here at The Hood I have a friend who has the opportunity to pray with the speakers that come in each week. He has expressed several times that he often feels like an ant in a giant’s world when it comes to praying with some of these men. He told us (the staff) one week of a story about how the Lord used the circumstances revolving around one of these prayer sessions to remind him of God’s majesty and faithfulness:
One particular Sunday, said-friend made his way up to the executive office. Arriving early, he placed his things down and departed for a moment to chat with someone. Upon his re-entry to the scene at hand, he walked in on Ravi Zacharias looking over his Amazon Kindle.
“Ravi Zacharias is looking at my Kindle; this is so cool,” thought my friend. They had a brief conversation over the piece of electronic equipment and moved into their prayer session with others. For the rest of the morning, confessed my friend as he was retelling the tale, he couldn’t help but smile in excitement over his interaction with one of the most brilliant apologists of our day. “Ravi Zacharias knows who I am; he likes my Kindle… I hope we run into each other, so we can make another connection over our common bond.”
Then it hit him. The Lord of creation, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Faithful One, the Savior of the world saw fit to die a sinner’s death on our behalf and raise again to life so that we could connect with him. And he’s more excited about a mere man knowing who he is.
How often do we look at prayer in complacency? How often do we look at something so miraculous as conversing with GOD and cast it aside as normal? Our vision can be so skewed; on one hand we have a celebrity who takes the time to value something in us and on the other hand we have Jesus Christ who made us valuable. How often do we place our identity in people?
I tell this story simply to remind us that we have a God who hears. This short statement has been rocking my world this summer; I want to proclaim it from the hilltops. We have a God who hears. The very Being who formed the heavens and the earth wants to connect with us; He wants to listen.
I’ve talked a lot about how my prayers often feel weak and powerless. I found this quote by Paul Miller from A Praying Life to be very encouraging:
Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: “I want to see the king.” Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, “Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus.”
At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway in to the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.
The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. “Asking in Jesus’ name” isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect.