for centuries upon centuries even dating back to the time of Aristotle people have believed there have been signs of other life from other planets; sometimes from alternate universes. What do they want? Contact. A large portion of film is dedicated to this way of thinking, suppositions that there is more than just human life living somewhere out there. and its only a matter of time before we make contact. so until then, we wait.
i think prayer is much like this. we wait and fiddle our thumbs “waiting” for the answer to come. we wait praying earnestly for the answer we seek or think we deserve. we are told “seek and you shall find” and pastors scream from hollow pulpits “knock and the door will be opened for you!”. Yet we wait and wait and wait and sometimes nothing comes. we go to 24 hour prayer meetings hoping the answers will be there. waiting for something we may have missed, some drip of water to fall upon our cracked lips that used to sing the praises of God to keep us going. to keep us moving. Yet, Jesus says in John that he is the door…iif Jesus is the door, then we are not knocking for Jesus or God to answer, we are knocking to meet face-to-face with God. so, if we seek god then we will find, if we ask then Christ will be given unto us….this is the invitation.
i think like most people and even the unseen aliens, we all crave contact.
why is dating such an attraction> why is loneliness depressing? because we were all made for contact. deep in Eden, before the apple tripped off the branch, god saw adam and felt his loneliness, so, he made one just like Adam for his enjoyment and partnership. we were meant for contact. i think for far too long, we have thought of prayer like one of those game machines with the claw. you stick a couple coins in (prayer) maybe if we’re lucky and skilled enough, we might get what we’re after (action) and yet most of the time the claw slips right through the grasp of our hands (waiting/no response). And Jesus makes the connection that God gives his children what they ask for, that, if they ask for a piece of bread, that is what they get.
if you follow scripture from the old testament to the new, you find people in contact with their creator. to be in contact with one’s creator was both humbling and and exciting process. for the most part, the religions of the time defined gods as being distant and judgemental and aloof. yet here was a god who himself desired contact wit his creation. he loved and is in love with his creation. you see prayer is about collision with god, not about the answer. it is about being in a deeply embedded relationship with the only god in all of human history who turns out to be a relational god. yes in some instances you see people throughout scripture who were concerned about the outcome, but, in comparison you never see god worry about the outcome and those people are also a lesser few in comparison to those who went to meet with God. prayer is about a face-to-face relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It is encountering the Triune God in a loving relationship. It is about a relationship. God did not send Jesus as a response to one person’s prayer; He sent Jesus in response to His very own desire for personal connection to each of us. Also known as contact.
Some listeners may want to object because prayer has not worked for you, maybe prayer wasn’t made to work at all….maybe it was made so we can solely connect with our creator. Maybe prayer doesn’t change things, maybe God does. If we choose to get our knees and be with God. this is much more than some physical posture, this is an internal bending of the will that cohesively finds itself coupled with the desire to be happy enough to just be with God. Prayer is a lovers’ call to fall over head heels.