I learned to pray kneeling by my bed next to my father when I was a young child. I listened to him address the Father. I felt the passion of his heart cries and the joy of his adoration. I was touched by the presence of the One to whom he was speaking. With my eyes tight shut, I knew “Someone” had come into the room because Daddy had called to Him. Yes, I knew the presence of God before I was saved. It was what made me want to be saved.
Later, as a teenager, I would sit at the top of the stairs and listen as my father prayed in his home office. He was unashamed of his need to pray. He was bold in his passion for God. I often heard him pray for me by name. And I can tell you, nothing holds your feet to the fire or helps you toe the line like hearing your father plead with the Father for wisdom in dealing with a wayward teen. A wayward teen that happens to be you.
Today, I am profoundly grateful for those memories. They are my heritage. They are, in a way, the rock from whence I was hewn. God loved me so much that he gave me to a father who would by his own life example lead me into the things of God and cause me to hunger for the ways of God.
I learned to pray because my father was a praying man. I know there are as many stories of humans meeting God and finding the gift and grace of prayer as there are saints past and present. My story is certainly not unique. But, I would be remiss not to express gratitude for the way God has dealt with me and made Himself known to me.
At this point in my life, being well into my fifties, I don’t get down on my knees as often as I used to. I wonder if it’s a practice I need to resume. There is something of humility in the bending of the knee. It’s a physical representation of the acknowledgement that He is God and I am not. He is the potter, and I am the clay. He is holy and dwells in unapproachable light. What glorious mystery that I can commune with Him in prayer! Because of the work of the cross, I can approach Him who is entirely “other than.”
Sweet Hour of Prayer is a song my father used to sit at the piano and sing. I encourage you to listen and read the lyrics. I find I have a fresh hunger for the sanctuary of meeting with my Heavenly Father and my dear Savior and to find the Holy Spirit breathing on me in creative, transforming power.
Oh, blessed Savior and loving Father, I need your presence and long to be with You. Forgive my wayward and wanton way when I have not rushed to You for comfort, counsel and instruction. Forgive my haughtiness, my assumption that I know all I need to know. Truth is, You are all I need, and Your way is righteousness and peace. I am Yours, and I relinquish all my cares, my hopes and dreams. You alone are my hope and stay. Holy Spirit, breathe on me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Dear reader, until next week, be in prayer. Cultivate that sweet hour of fellowship with the Faithful Lover of your soul.