Thoughts on Prayer from a New Covenant Perspective #1
I want to begin to write about something that I believe the Lord is longing for all of us to know deeply. We know these all things mentally, but in our prayer-life most have not moved into their reality. So I am going to be writing a series of articles that will be in this section on my blog. I will be writing them as they are unfolded in understanding in me. I will try to remember to place a blog post as a notice of an article being here.
We are New Covenant people, grace people, forgiven people, co-heirs with Christ, in Christ etc…. I could go on and on and in these articles I probably will do just that.
Born From Above
In the New Covenant, we are “born from above” as very sons of God; co-heirs and sons with Jesus Christ our Beloved Lord. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence inside of our persons and we are now the Temple of the Holy Spirit. So our relationship with our God is vastly different than anything David could experience in the Old Covenant. Our God is not only God of the universe and everything we see, He is also the God who has taken up residence in His Temple – me and you.
We are no longer relating to a God outside of us. He dwells within. Oh yes, He is by all means the God of the universe, but that is not where His temple is. He lives within us individually and collectively. So we are not trying to relate to someone “out there.” Along with that, we need to understand that we are not relating to someone who only hears a special few people, you know, those really close to Him. He hears everything we think, so hearing all of everyone’s prayer is what He does. (We will work further with this point later. Yes, I know the words of Scripture that tell us he doesn’t hear a sinner’s prayer. We will discuss that in its context and understand He always hears everyone).
So, since He lives within, He always hears and always answers our prayers. Some have taught that sometimes He says yes, sometimes no, and sometimes maybe or wait. Such nonsense may be comforting to our lack of understanding, but the word says He always hears and He always answers in the affirmative. We will discover how this works from Scripture, not from our seemingly unanswered prayers.
Crossing “The Pleasing Bridge”
Today, I want us to cross the “pleasing bridge.” We have been taught to do many things to please Him. Indeed Ephesians 5:10 in the NIV says for us to find out what pleases the Lord, and the New King James says to find out what is acceptable to the Lord. Either of these is fine. The point of the passage is that since we are now sons of God, we need to know what He likes.
We please the Father simply because of the work of Jesus Christ which we as His brothers and sisters have accepted as our sufficiency before God. Nothing else is needed and anything else is an offense. So we do not need to think we are gaining favor because of and through our obedience, for that does not work that way at all. It did under the Old Covenant, but not in Christ. I am a son of God completely pleasing to Him because of Christ and in Christ – nothing else. Now that I am in this relationship with one I love so deeply, I want to find out what makes Him smile as I live in His power and provision.
Approaching the concept of prayer with the understanding that I already please Him and that He is ravished by one look of my eye toward Him, sets us in a place of precious belonging and releases us into the glory of His presence for our every moment. Such provision.
As you can see we are going to be empowered to relax and enjoy Him as we dialogue and listen to Him when we pray. No longer a one-way-dialogue. More on that later. Thanks so for reading. Send the link to a friend or two and help me spread this word of marvelous grace in Christ Jesus our Lord!