A Prayer Away

God created us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His presence. Yet most of us find ourselves distant from God. We think God, once so approachable in the Garden, is now distant, hiding in the cloud of unknowing, un-seeable and not knowable.

We’ve got a problem.

Tolstoy said, “we have two kinds of problems in our lives. The first are solvable problems, where we have to make every effort to resolve them. The second are those we cannot solve or overcome; we need the patience to live with them and still keep improving ourselves.”

We often think of the ‘Unknown God” as the second kind of problem, one we can do nothing about. This is partially true, inasmuch as God’s ways are higher than our ways.  We reason that God may be omnipresent in some sort of theoretical way, but is not present for us in an imminent way.

But there is an aspect of our closeness to God that we can do something about. Once while in Jesus presence Peter had a rare moment of clarity and cried out “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” This is the same reaction Adam and Eve had when they ate the forbidden fruit—they tried to hide from God’s presence.

This is an old fashioned idea. The idea that our sin, our missing the mark, creates distance from a Holy God.

In his book “The pursuit of God,” A.W. Tozer describes the situation this way. “So the life of man upon the earth is a life away from the Presence, wrenched loose from that ‘blissful center’ which is our right and proper dwelling place, our first estate which we kept not, the loss of which is the cause of our unceasing restlessness.”

Tolstoy suggests that when we have a resolvable problem we should “make every effort to resolve them.”  But what effort is appropriate when we sin?

Sometimes aware of our sin, we seek to offset it by becoming more active religiously or trying to do more good then bad. But this does not get us back to “the blissful center of God’s presence.”

What God wants is not more effort, but honest communication, our confession (agreement with God) that we have sinned, our repentance (sorrow for our wrongdoing) and our request for forgiveness.

This requires prayer, which seems counterintuitive to humans, accustomed as we are to solving our problems through a frenzy of activity.

As George Carey said,  “When the fire of prayer goes out. The barrenness of busyness takes over.”

Want to know God? Slow down. Try less. Pray more.



Posted in Staublog in September 26, 2011 by | 1 Comment »

One Response to A Prayer Away

  1. ST092611 | Dick Staub on September 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    […] Want to know God? Slow down. Try less. Pray more. Read More. […]

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