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Oct. 21, 2018

GETTING CLOSE TO GOD

 

“Father…not My will, but Yours be done…”

Luke 22:42

 

 Have you ever asked yourself the question, “How can I get close to God?”  Have you ever felt that  praying to God seems similar to praying to a brick wall? Are you presently in a place where, although you admit that countless prayers of yours have been answered in the past, that now when you need Him the most, God seems to be not picking up the phone when you call upon Him? 

 Well, take heart. This happens to all of us at one time or another.  Sometimes the reason stems from un-confessed sin in our lives that can separate us from communing freely with God.  To remedy that, we must repent and then confess our  sin to our merciful God who is ready, willing, and able to forgive and cleanse us from sin’s effects.

 At other times, a reason that our prayers may seem not to be heard, is so that we can grow in the graces of faith, perseverance, love, gentleness and self-control.  In these cases, we need to learn how to hopefully live in patience as we wait upon God. We just need to stay the course and trust an all-knowing God to take care of our un-known future.

 And then, our prayers sometimes seem not to be answered because we ask amiss. That is when we treat God as a genie, and try to use prayer as a kind of Aladdin’s lamp.  The truth is that God always answers our prayers. Sometimes He says, “Yes.” Other times in His wisdom it is a “No.”  And many times He answers with an, ”OK, but not yet.”  At other times God may say, “You’ve got to be kidding!” It is these answers that can many times be misinterpreted as God ignoring us. True prayer is not our getting God’s attention; it is God getting ours!

 Many years ago, I used to live by the St. Lawrence River in Northern New York.  One of the great joys of life was to pilot my 16 foot inboard/outboard Sport-Craft boat up and down that great river for both the thrill of it and to get to some of the best fishing spots in the world. When I would bring up my boat to a dock, my oldest son, Nathan, would sprightly jump from the deck of the boat onto the platform and catch the rope I would toss to him. The boat motor was put in neutral and my son would effortlessly pull the boat close to the dock and then tie it off safely.  In all those times (literally years) of boat-docking with my son, I never experienced the pier being pulled out to the boat. Instead, the vessel as always pulled snugly up to the pier.

 The good news is each of us can get closer to God, anytime we like.

 Prayer and thankfulness are ropes that pulls the Creator and His creation together. But it doesn’t pull God down to us: it pulls us up to Him.

 May we learn from the example of Jesus Christ, the Master of the art of prayer who declared, “Heavenly Father, not my will - but Your will be done.”

 As always, see you next time and have a great day...