The root image for thinking about God in the Bible is relatedness.
Relationality is fundamental to thinking about the God of the Bible and the association of God and the world.
- It is basic to the very nature of God (Genesis 1:26-30). God is not in heaven alone, but belongs to a divine community which is rich and complex.
- God has established a genuine relationship with creation, and more specifically, the people of Israel. We see the common use of relational metaphors in the Bible–> husband-wife; parent-child for example.
- This God created a world in which all creatures in all of their diversity are related. The ripple effect–> everything we do matters.
“The world is such that the words/actions of every creature reverberate out and affect the whole, shaking this spiderweb of a world in varying degrees of intensity, and in positive and negative ways.” (Hosea 4:1-3)
“The God of the Bible, by entering deeply into the life of such a world, commits the divine self to be involved in such interrelatedness in all of its complexities and open-endedness. God so relates to this world that every moment in the web affects God as well; God will become caught up in these interconnections and work within them and with them for the sake of all creatures. Hence, we need to place prayer within this kind of relational understanding of God and of the world. And issues of the efficacy of prayer are closely bound up with the complex character of this interrelatedness.”
How you think about your relationship with God is quite important. “Among the important characteristics of a genuine God-human relationship is this: God so enters into relationship that God is not the only one who has something important to say. God knows that communication is a key to a healthy relationship. And so prayer is God’s gift for the sake of meaningful interaction with human beings in relationship.” God is delighted when people pray, most basically because prayer is a sign of health in a relationship (Proverbs 15:8).
Prayer is a form of power given to us by God. He actually shares it! Prayer is one way that the power at our disposal can be more in tune with the will of God. Then God and humans can work in concert rather than competition.
Quotes are all taken from Creation Untamed by Terence Fretheim.