Friday - Joy in Prayer

Psalm 68:4. “Sing to God, sing praises to His name...and exult before Him.”

“When God chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world, He did not merely choose me to be “holy and blameless”; He chose me also to be “before Him in love. ”To be sure, I am always in God’s presence on earth, and in heaven I will be in His presence more fully than ever. But it could also be said that in this life I am especially “before Him in love” when I come “before Him” in prayer and worship.” – Milton Vincent

In the early months of 1994, I was stationed in the frozen wasteland that is New Jersey for a month of training with the Army Rangers. It was one of the hardest months I have ever experienced in my life. Jennifer and I had recently gotten engaged, and I would be shipping off to England for three years. We didn’t know when we would be able to get married or when I would be able to return to see her again.

The phone was our lifeline. Every evening when I would return from the field, my driving desire was to call her. The thought of being in her presence brought joy to me. In many ways, those conversations sustained me through some difficult days.

My conversations with Jesus are very similar…but better. Jesus paid with His life to welcome me into His family. He tore the veil to allow me into the presence of our Father.  Jesus opened the way for me to experience joy in my Father’s presence.

While it is true that one day Christians will stand completely in His presence and know pure joy and innocence, we also have the opportunity to enter His presence every day. Approaching God in prayer helps battle loneliness – Jesus is with us – helps us understand our Father better – God answers in His time – and draws us into communion with Him through dark days, temptations and trials. Prayer brings us to a place of hope. 

Don’t waste the gift of prayer. Don’t waste the privilege we have to enter into our Father’s presence and experience the loving embrace that He offers.