In tackling this subject, I logically came up with the Who, the How and the What when approaching God. I have struggled and prayed about being vulnerable enough to share the "What" when I get to that part of my post. So I ask you gently, in advance, to hold it carefully in your hands.
When I was little I had a love-hate relationship with the movie "The Wizard of Oz". I hated the wicked witch and the flying monkeys. I recall burying my face in my mother's shoulder when it came to that part. I also wondered about the great and powerful Oz. If he was the giver of good gifts, why was he so intimidating to approach?
I admit that often I have approached God as if he were Oz...I was afraid of God. Was my God just a bunch of smoke and mirrors like Oz? I would hear people speak about the God of the Old Testament - the God of fire, floods and plagues. I gravitated more toward Jesus. I liked the pictures of Him in my Sunday school stories with little children sitting on His lap. He was usually smiling or had a peaceful look on His face. I could relate to Him.
However, Jesus clearly states in John 14:9, "Whoever has seen me has seen the father." The more I purposefully and intentionally dug into this truth, the more of God I began to see. The God of the Old Testament was also the God of the parting of the Red Sea, the Passover and countless times He showed mercy to His people Israel.
I am especially drawn to the verses that speak of God as compassionate and filled with loving-kindness.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." (Jeremiah 31:3)
"For your loving-kindness is before my eyes: and I have walked in your truth." (Psalm 26:3)
"Every path He guides us on is fragrant with His loving-kindness." (Psalm 23:10)
God is quick to lavish his mercy, grace and loving-kindness upon us. These words are a cool drink of water to my parched soul.
How then, do I approach my loving and kind God?
I am the queen of namby-pamby prayers. I tend to sheepishly go before God and then I cover all my bases...uh, well God, if it's your will and if you see fit, then well maybe you will answer my prayer. Pffftt!
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
In him (Christ) and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
"Ask and it will be given to you..." (Matthew 7:7). Sometimes we simply do not ask.
I can just hear God urging me on, "Come on girl...you can do it...come boldly before me and bring your prayers with you!"
So What do I bring before the throne of grace? Hold this gently. Of all my prayers, I believe my most earnest plea would be for my son...that God would soften his hardened heart. I have always said that my greatest desire, as a mother, would be for my children to have a close and personal relationship with their Lord and Savior and that they would walk in His ways.
I won't go into all the details of how his impressionable heart was hardened, but I come with confidence before God and pray that He would give my son a heart of flesh in place of a heart of stone and that When not If my son returns that he would be greeted by my loving arms and the compassionate arms of the Lord.
As I pray for you every morning and every evening, will you pray this for me?
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)
Will you wait in expectation with me? What prayers do you need to bring boldly before His throne of grace?
In His love,
ps. Don't forget about the drawing at the end of December for Ann Voskamp's best selling book and the DaySpring mug and coffee for all those who subscribe to my blog. Be sure to look for the verification email once you subscribe. No spam; no lists that are sold...promise!