Why do we pray?
If everything we need has already been provided, shouldn’t we just live in that?
Charles Spurgeon says,
True prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalog of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits …
Years ago I was in Europe on a ministry trip. Our hosts brought us into the beautiful city of Vienna. I stood outside a church that had been in Vienna since the 16th century. People stood outside with cameras, angling for beautiful shots of the Gothic architecture. Others lined up to pay to enter in and see the painted ceilings and saints entombed within its walls.
But right next to the front doors a man sat cross legged. His face was downcast. His feet were dirty. His clothes ragged. He held his palms up hoping for alms.
But no one saw him.
He was lost in the crush of the crowd, at their feet, to the side.
My heart was suddenly heavy with the irony.
Here we were surrounded by beauty and a symbol of the Ancient of Days, and a hungry man was lost in the tradition and adoration of a building, however beautiful.
I believe that sometimes we may be in that very place. We are surrounded by the exterior (and beautiful) trappings of our faith, but we fail to see the poverty of our own need.
We are that beggar. We are living in hidden spiritual poverty.
How do we fill up?
We fill up in His presence.
In Romans 8:5, Paul says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
We go into our secret place today with God and empty ourselves.
Of an agenda.
Of fear. Of striving. Of comparison. Of worry. With the knowledge that we are poor in self, but RICH in Him.
It’s a bold move in a sense, but one that Scripture gives approval.
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. —Ephesians 3:12
Write down these two verses in your journal today. Meditate on them. Let them sink in.
1. If your palms were held up, what does Jesus pour into them today?
2. What might it mean to come confidently into God’s presence?
3. What would it look like to empty yourself, so that Jesus can pour in?