Sunday, January 14, 2024

The Keystones of Vibrancy

The keystone of a vibrant relationship with God is a vibrant prayer life.  And, the keystone of a vibrant prayer life is a correct understanding of its consummate form.  So, let’s briefly consider both what prayer is and what prayer is not.

            Perhaps first, we should understand that our prayer life should be animated by more noble motives than mere obligation or duty.  To conceive of prayer in those terms is to misunderstand its glory, to demean its worth, and to undermine the spontaneous pleasure and abundant benefits of these moments of visitation with God

            And, in fact, that idea is actually the more mature view of prayer. In essence, prayer is simply a wondrous conversational encounter between devoted friends. And, who ever needed coercive motives to bring them to such an encounter?  Certainly, no one I know. 

            Rather, we cherish those moments with such friends. We eagerly anticipate them.  We run headlong toward them. And, we make them last as long as possible.

            And, why would we not?  Out of those treasured meetings come happily animated conversations.  And, among the outflows of those conversations are the ingredients for personal growth.  Often, shared memories bubble to the surface with their attendant laughter or poignant tears.  And, how often have we found great relief in these valuable friendships as we suddenly discover the strength of another shoulder seeking, in some loving way, to bear up with our own in an effort to lighten our load.

            These are all just part of the blessings which flow from a truly rich companionship.  And the companionship of our Heavenly Father, our loving Savior, and the Divine Spirit is no different. It is designed to be the richest companionship of all. 

            Like nothing else, these times of divine visitation hold the capacity to light up the heart of both God and man.  They heighten and make more accurate our sense of God awareness.  They organically produce meaning, fulfillment, and a deepened devotion. And, it’s in these times that our faith is made to be unflappable as we gain the divine synergy which enables us to face down life’s challenges. 

            It is the experience of all these glorious things, and many more, which eventually bring to extinction any need for a sense of obligation or duty regarding prayer.  Rather, in the place of those more coercive motives, comes an infinitely more enjoyable one.  It is simply the overflowing goodness of the divine friendship.  It is in the joy of that goodness that the easy energy of spontaneous pursuit is effortlessly set free within us. 

            The simple reality is this.  God can talk.  And, when we tap into the deep joys of a conversation with Him, wondrous, life-changing, world-shaking things happen in our heart, in our life circumstance, and in our relationship with Him.

 “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” – God