Thursday, December 02, 2010

Connecting Life with Faith: How we speak to God

We can all relate to the last minute prayer or closed eyes hoping a wish might come true, but what I want to discuss is the how we communicate, or speak to God.  Obviously conversation works within the frame of a relationship.  We talk to people differently based on our relationship to that person.  The tone I use with my children and my boss are completely different.  The words, diction and gestures vary from relationship to relationship.

So I might ask you readers...what kind of relationship do you have with God?  How do you view Him?  Ultimately our theology (reference of understanding God) determines the way in which we engage our Creator.

We speak to God through what we call "prayer", a personal mode of communication, most often spoken but also it can be silent.  But silent only in appearance, on the inside there is the voice of the saint praising, appealing, pleading, even weeping.

Just as children we come to Him innocently, unafraid.  But just as we enter His presence we become aware of His greatness, and that changes the way we speak to Him.  It changes our tone and we are mindful of our words, but remember that we are always His children.

Looking at the words of the New Testament, I see three main ways God is addressed in prayers.  "Lord" "Father" "Abba"

Each of these words elicits a different feeling in the way we come to God.  I think we go through phases or typically have a preference in the way we come to God in our prayers.  Some of us prefer LORD, some Father, and some love to call Him "Daddy."  He of course is all of these to us, but depending on our situation we come to Him differently.

In short,
Lord emphasizes His dominion and provision for us.  His might and majesty and glory.  His beauty and splendor and divinity.

Father emphasizes paternity, being the Creator and beginning of all things.  His care and concern for us as His children.  His plan and commitment to our salvation and sanctification as His people.

Abba, a lot like Father but focusing on our relationship as children, it emphasizes the intimate side that cares for our deepest needs.  We cry Abba when we need His affection and comfort.  His forgiveness, mercy and help.

By all means, I wish not to define these as a rule, but to more understand the way we speak to God.

So let us come to Him freely, bold, but full of reverence. Needy but ready to honor His will before our own.  Prayer is not easy but remembering it is not mere words but the entire spectrum of communication, from the bowing of the knee (Romans 14:11)to the beating of the chest(Luke 18:13), or to the tears we shed(Jeremiah 50:4), keeps it simple.  How could He turn away from us if our hearts are open to Him and we come as His precious children.
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