Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 22: A Way to Pray: Pray Desiring God's Presence

“Come near to God and he will come near to you... (James 4:8).

“...the purpose of prayer is to reveal the Presence of God, equally present at all times and in every condition.” - Oswald Chambers

God is more than a religious belief, or an icon on the wall, or a deity to mumble prayers to before eating a meal, or a list of rules to live by, or someone whose meetings we attend. He is our friend. God wants to walk with you and talk with you on a daily basis. His greatest desire is to have a relationship with you. God created you to be His friend.

The Hebrew word for “presence” means “face,” “in front of,” or “to see one’s face.” When my wife wants my attention, she sits on my lap and with a hand on my cheek turns my face to look her in the eyes. She enjoys my presence as much as I enjoy hers. Being in God’s presence simply means spending time with Him, talking to Him “face-to-face.”

The greatest gift God has given you is His presence. The greatest gift we can give God is a desire to be in His presence. We reveal our desire for God’s presence by the amount of time we spend seeking Him. Pursuit is proof of desire!

Many make the mistake of only seeking God’s blessing instead of celebrating His presence. It is important to seek God’s face, not His hand. We love God because of Who He is, not because of what He has done or can do for us. God is not an eternal Santa Claus. We should chase His presence, not His presents. It should not be just “I want blessings from God,” it should be, “I want God.” The marvelous thing about seeking the Giver is that when you find Him, you also receive His gifts simply because He loves you.

In God’s presence you will find:
* Abundance (John 10:10)
* Comfort (Isaiah 51:12)
* Deliverance (Psalm 34:19)
* Encouragement (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
* Favor (Proverbs 12:2)
* Forgiveness (Psalm 103:3)
* Healing (Exodus 15:26)
* Joy (Psalm 16:11)
* Love (1 John 4:8)
* Patience (Psalm 37:7)
* Peace (John 14:27)
* Protection (Psalm 91)
* Prosperity (Psalm 25:12-13)
* Rest (Exodus 33:14)
* Strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
* Wisdom (Proverbs 2:6)