What is prayer?
We can say, in light of our discussion the last couple days, that prayer is simply communication between believers and God within a relationship of consequence.
Now for the phrase that pays:
The strength of a relationship is determined by the frequency and quality of our interactions.
With people. With God.
We will come back to this often. For it is such a foundational truth of life. I like that word “interactions” indicating give and take, back and forth, two-way communication. Not only can you not have a strong relationship with someone you never talk to, you can’t have a strong relationship with someone in which one person is doing all the talking. I’ve known people with whom I’ve had fairly frequent interactions, but they’ve almost always been one-sided. One person doing most of the talking and little to no listening does not make for a strong relationship. That’s more like a speaker-spectator agreement. This “agreement” quite sucks after a while. And by “a while” I mean like twenty minutes. A strong relationship requires sharing of soul from both parties.
Frequent interactions can be good, but if all we’re talking about is surface stuff, the relationship remains weak.
But if our interactions go deep, even if they’re infrequent, we can have a fairly strong relationship. I think of close friends I have who live in another state or country whom I consider to have a very tight bond with. We don’t get to interact all the time, but when we do, it’s well below the surface.
So it is with God, since God is a person. A person with whom we can interact. Praying often and also with depth–pouring ourselves out to Him–and taking time to be quiet so as to hear Him speak to us, this makes for a strong relationship with the Almighty.
This is all made possible, mysteriously, by that event we celebrate today, the incarnation.
Our loving Creator made the first and unthinkable move, uniting Himself with His creation. It’s incomprehensible, unsurpassed in beauty, and once accepted, once experienced, it is transforming, healing, and saving on a level unknown to anything devised or imagined by human beings.
The Almighty Trinity, Yahweh-Yeshua-Ruach, who is ever in a relationship of harmonious interaction, is saying to you today, simply,
“Be with us.”
“There is always room at our table for you. Come. Be with us. Interact with us. Forever.”