Prayer, as I’ve heard it taught, is sterile and obligatory. It’s a needful task to get by in this world. Prayer is typically performed like visiting the clerk at an old-fashioned grocery store. You drop off your order, and then you wait for its fulfillment. “Three oranges, a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, and a stick of butter, please. Thank you, I’ll see you the next time I need something.” It’s more clinical than relational. Sure, you can have a relationship with your store clerk, but how deep does that relationship actually go—probably not very?!
So why in the world would we treat our Heavenly Father this way? Why would we relegate ourselves to a simple business transaction? Why would we settle for that, when so much more is available? I wonder if it’s just that we think there isn’t more available. I wonder if our view of God is that limited and stunted compared to its actual magnitude. I know I’ve struggled (even this very morning!) to try to get to Him. I just felt like I was pushing against something that prevented me from making a connection. This was how it felt…reality might have been totally contrary and usually is.
This life is about relationship with our God, and experiencing oneness in Him. He wants to be our all and everything. If I limit Him to simply a store clerk role, I’m missing out on every nuance that God wishes to be and is in reality.
After I wrote my post about standing prayer, Martha said, “John, you are experiencing the kiss of God!” Then she shared this Spurgeon quote:
“The kiss of daily, present communion is that which we pant after to be repeated day after day, till it is changed into the kiss of reception, which removes the soul from earth, and the kiss of consummation which fills it with the joy of heaven” (From Morning and Evening, Morning reading April 1st).
I realized that my standing prayer is exactly this, a KISS! This takes it into the stratosphere for me. My heart melts with the reality that prayer is intended to be an intimate kiss with my Beloved. Oh, it shames me that I have wasted so much time seeking answer-fulfillment when intimate union was His goal.
Prayer is so exciting to me! Prayer is communion with my God and the kiss of consummation filling the moments with the joy of heaven. Boy, this makes all those how-to manuals on how to twist God’s arm through prayer so foolish—and extremely profane. Just imagine, standing prayer is a KISS of communion removing my soul from earth! Yes, all for oneness. This is so worth the waiting!
“Intimate union was His goal”. Yes, yes! I remember when The Lord first came to me when I was seventeen, even though very elementary, it was just the beginning with Him, it was all inward and intimate, until a few years latter, when I was introduced to religion, and religion did set in me. It become all outward, the whole thing became like a chore, a burden, a heavy laden. And sometimes I would hear this little voice inside me, reminding me how simple it was in the old days, but I pushed it down, I had to believe the… Read more »
Back in the 70’s, there was a popular principle called the KISS principle. KISS was an acronym for, Keep it simple, stupid. I. chuckled to myself when I recalled it after reading your post John, thinking it was not a very spiritual comparison. But then The Spirit showed me how apropos it was: simply receive His kiss. Thank you.
Yeah, I know what you mean. Out here in California many treat God like a slot machine: ” I claimed the verse. Now give me the stuff. ” That isn’t relationship at all. But the challenge to me (and I have been a Christian for
40 years) is to believe & receive His love for me. So I start at the cross every day. That way I see His love for me and am open to relationship. Then my love is just a response to His Love.
Beautiful John…wished this was posted one day earlier, as I preached on “All Prayer” yesterday from Eph. 6:18!
You’re not alone in the indictment: “Oh, it shames me that I have wasted so much time seeking answer-fulfillment when intimate union was His goal.” POWERFUL! Intimacy with the Creator of the Universe…how can it get any better than this??!! Bless you, John, your blog is such a blessing!!
“…a KISS of communion…”
“…with my Beloved.”
Be still my heart!
Yes yes! Prayer is the wish of a child! “Dad, let’s meet in Your kiss today.”
Thank you, John!