On one of those less brilliant days, when we decided to take our family of seven tent camping, I was walking with my two youngest to the bathhouse located a distance from our tent-site. It was a cloudy night, without shadows because everything was draped in a blanket of night. I held the flashlight in one hand, my 2 year old with the other hand, and my four year old held the hand of his little sister. Suddenly, he stumbled down a little embankment. I shone the light toward him but didn’t quite find him at first.
He cried out. “Mama, are you there?”
“I’m here, buddy.”
“But I can’t see you.”
“I’m still here, sweetheart. I’ll find you – just keep talking to me.”
A full five seconds later, he was back on the trail and we merrily made our way to the toilet, or as merrily as we could in the dark…and eventually torrential downpour ;-).
Prayer is a weird thing if you really think about it. It doesn’t make sense unless you have the inside secret. From a perfectly “objective” and non-believing perspective, when we pray we are talking to the air…someone we CAN’T see. But that is one of the main points of prayer. Faith. It’s a beautiful example to God of our faith in Him.
Like the centurion in Matthew 8 who told Jesus, “Lord, I am unworthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” The centurion didn’t need to ‘see’ Jesus heal, he believed without seeing.
So three basic purposes of prayer are:
1. It shows our Faith in God. We are talking to the ‘unseen’ that’s why God wants us to pray. It is one step toward expressing our faith. “Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see” as Hebrews 11:1 states.
2. It requires humility. When we pray, in effect we are saying “I don’t have all the answers. I need you.”
3. It reminds us who has the power. We pray in the name of Jesus for he is our Savior and Mediator to our Father God. Like in #2, we realize our inabilities and call on the one who is able…who is faithful.
I can’t always see God in the darkness of this life, but through His Word – I can hear his voice calling me to Him. When I can’t find Him, I can call out – and He will find me.
For those who don’t have eyes to see the wonder of a Heavenly Father, it may sound pretty preposterous, but for those of us who know the warm embrace and assurance of His love, it is hope and peace.