Talk and Prayer
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, ESV)
It was Saturday evening of British Open weekend when my phone chirped with a text. My friend in England asked, “Do you think you could use the analogy of talking to a golf ball in one of your devotions?”
I tapped my reply, “I’ll think about it. I do need to write a devotion by Monday.”
“Well, when you watch golf tomorrow, look at how many golfers talk to their ball. Does it make a difference?”
“Doesn’t make a difference. But talking to God does.” I smiled as I hit the send button.
Talking to our golf ball provides a feeling of control, even though we know that once the ball leaves the clubface, we have no control at all. If you’ve played golf for any length of time, then you know even a perfect shot can catch an unpredictable bounce, often leading to an undesirable result. We actually only have control over a few things in golf: having a consistent pre-shot routine, committing to the process of the golf swing, and putting the club in motion.
Isn’t life full of unpredictable bounces, too? We can earn degrees, experience financial success, love God and others as best we know how, get married and have children (or remain single), and commit to pursing spiritual and emotional growth. Yet in the pursuit of all these good and wonderful aspects of life, we can’t control the end results.
How then can talking with God make a difference in the unpredictability of life?
The Psalms record David talking with God all the time. He lamented (complained). He praised. He asked for help. He confessed, with humility, his failures and shame. God heard every word, received his worship, met his needs, and forgave his sins. And while David still experienced some extreme circumstances, he was considered a man after God’s heart and through his lineage came Jesus.
Talking with means there is a two-way conversation (speaking and listening) between people. Talking with God daily, and even throughout the day, is an act of letting go of the control we so desperately cling to and builds our confidence so we can “draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.”
When Jesus took his last breath, the veil that separated the presence of God from all but the high priest tore in two from the top to the bottom. God’s presence became available to all people in that moment. Jesus’ act of love through his death, resurrection, and ascension is the only invitation we need to approach the throne of grace and receive mercy, love, and kindness in the unpredictability of life on this side of heaven.
July 25, 2019
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