Dale Appleby

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Weekly Reflections

Before you pray: Whom do you know? 2

Before you pray: Whom do you know? 2  (Continued from last week)

Knowing God and having fellowship with him, to use John's term, means we must live in the light. Darkness and sin will always destroy our fellowship with God, since God is light and there is no darkness in him. If we are to associate with him, we too must live in the light (1 John 1.1-10). That means we have to be honest about our sin. Living in the light provides the place for the cleansing from sin. Living in the darkness multiplies the sin.

It is from within this fellowship relationship that we learn what God is like. This is the context for facts. The more our fellowship with God deepens, the better we know the kind of God he is. And consequently the better we know how to pray. Our minds become attuned to his way of thinking, we understand better how he operates, we have clearer insight into his purposes, and this knowledge helps us pray.

 

Knowing God in this way is fundamental to prayer. The better we know God the better will be our prayer life. The two work together because they are two aspects of the one relationship. But we must not embark on prayer as though it were an impersonal affair. As though with the right words, and the right theory we could make things happen with God's help. Prayer flows out of our relationship with God, so we need to foster those things which develop that relationship.

How is your fellowship with God right now? Do you know his voice, do you have his life in you because you live in the light with him all the time. Are you intimately acquainted with his goodness and holiness, so that you know what he is like, you think like him, you see the world as he sees it? Such a fellowship comes from living in the light of his word, from obedience to that word, from the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. It comes as we learn to trust him in action, it flows from our service, it comes as we respond in godly ways to the difficulties of life.

If you have retreated into the darkness, come back to God and seek him. If you have become caught up in activities, come back to a quiet place where you can wait upon God. If you forget him during the day, practise talking and listening to him through the day. Above all speak and listen, read his word, and ask him to teach you through it.

If it is apparent that you have never known him in the way the Bible describes, come to him now. Ask him to rule your life, forgive your sin, put his Holy Spirit within you, and cause you to be born into his spiritual family. Turn away from independence and rebellion and allow Jesus to be your Lord and Master.

 Dale

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