Posts Tagged 2 Samuel 7: 18

The Essential Prayer

2 Samuel 7: 18

Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?

I would like to continue some thoughts on prayer from yesterday’s devotional. Prayer is an interesting topic because everyone knows what prayer is and yet doesn’t seem completely comfortable with their knowledge. All across the country and the world ministers continue to teach on prayer, as did Jesus, because there is so much room for deeper insights.

I like this passage from David because David asks such a basic question, one that probably most people think about at some point in the relationship with God. Who am I, Lord? Another way to think of this is, who am I in relation to you? What is my standing with you, Lord and why do you even show me such kindness? When I wish to study this mystery of an interpersonal relationship with the Lord of Hosts I most often turn to David. He loved God and God actually called him “friend”. Yet, David pondered these same questions that we too stumble over.

When we say the prayer of salvation acceptance and confess Jesus as our Lord and savior a new creature and a new life is born. We are born anew and begin a journey of transformation with our Lord. Being born again is far from the end. It is supposed to be a beginning. We accept discipleship to the Lord Jesus and begin to allow ourselves to become unified with him. This is a fascinating process and not all together easy or comfortable at times, which brings me back to prayer. 

The most powerful prayer we can ever pray is a prayer of submission. In that prayer we can even daily ask the Lord this important question, “Who am I?” Perhaps the question we really want to ask, though, is, “Who am I becoming?” This can be a challenging question, but I know the answer. We are called to allow ourselves to manifest the beautiful creation that God first created. You were made in the very image of Christ himself but as we live in this world that perfect child begins to take on the corruption and taint of the world. That is not to say that you are corrupt but rather that the things of this world get on us and they can be difficult to shake off. Jesus, though, has come to our rescue. He has saved us out of the mire of this world and given us a beautiful new garment. That sounds great, and it is true but how many of you know that there is a transition period? That is why the scripture says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3: 18).

There is a period of time wherein we allow the transformation to take place within us so that we become the version of ourselves that God saw in the beginning. You will not be changed into someone else. You are just expected to allow the Holy Spirit to work out the transformation within you that reveals the glorious you. We are transformed from glory to glory, from one little success to another. It is a process. It would be great if the Holy Spirit just swept into our hearts and recreated us into that perfect manifestation of Jesus but that is not how it works. None of the three persons of the trinity are ever going to do anything within you without your permission and your participation. Furthermore, transformation does not come from God waving a spiritual wand. As I said, transformation is a process. A caterpillar does not transform into a butterfly in an instant. Now, here is the key piece of information. We are in charge of this personal metamorphosis. We are the captains of this ship. God is not going to change you while you sleep. I wish it worked that way. Instead this is a process of conscious surrender and determined purpose. We have to be dedicated to this process and we must put the car in gear. Having so done, God always supplies the power. This is where prayer at its most basic and perhaps most powerful level is engaged. We must go to the Father in our prayer time and ask for Him to change us. We must prayerfully surrender all of our idols, whether they be our ego, previous injuries and the subsequent scars, our protective walls, our schedules and everything else that would interfere with the transformation process.

This is essential Christianity. It is so easy to get caught up in all of the business of modern life and fail to recognize that Christianity is far more than a one-time prayer. It is not about receiving salvation and accepting the Lordship of Christ in a singular prayer and then never allowing that lordship to impact our lives. Our prayer lives could be much better spent if, instead of praying for our needs, we humbled ourselves before the Almighty and asked Him, “Who am I? Who have you created me to be? Father, I beseech thee, transform me into the image of that vision you have had for me since the dawn of time.” Then we must stop, listen and be honest with ourselves. God will meet you on this sacred ground. He does want to change you and although that sounds very uncomfortable, the truth of it is healing. God will restore you to that healed and perfect you.

As you think about prayer today or when you enter your prayer time think of what significant and important conversation you can have with the Lord. You have the ear of the Almighty; do you really want to talk about trivialities? Look into the heart of God and your own heart and begin to pray this most powerful prayer, “Help me, Lord, to be changed. Help me to embrace this transformation process so that I can be a disciple of yours and follow you wherever you lead.”