1st March 2009

Prayer as Relationship

Exodus 3:1-12

     ‘What is your prayer life like these days?’ That is quite an odd question. What does it mean, exactly? We talk about our working life or maybe our home life, so maybe our prayer life is another compartment, the time we focus on God and tell him what we think or ask him to do things for us or for others. These different lives are just that, different lives; when we come home from work we are encouraged to switch off our work life and switch on to family or home or leisure; and we are not supposed to bring our home troubles in to work. Is our prayer life just one of these separate compartments? No! It is much more than that!

    God is God, Jesus is Lord of all; if that is true, God is in charge of every aspect of our lives and we can’t switch him off! He is there with us, and even if we are focusing on the task in hand he is beside us and may say something relevant at any time! And of course, we can communicate with him at any time. There are times we need to focus on him, and Jesus encourages us to make time for that. There are also times when God breaks into our awareness when we are not expecting him – and that was Moses’ experience.

     This Lent we are going to think a little more about prayer in its widest sense. This week we are thinking about prayer as relationship with God. Talk about a ‘prayer life’ is really talk about a relationship with God. And that depends on how well we know God – on how much God has revealed himself to us.

    The burning bush was simply a ruse to capture Moses’ attention. During the conversation (prayer time!) that followed, Moses learnt a lot about God. He had to take off his shoes – God was obviously someone to be respected, not to be trifled with. God introduced himself as the God of his ancestors – there was a family connection, and maybe Moses remembered all the stories he’d heard of God’s dealings with his people. God obviously knew what was going on in the world, and he cared about it, and was going to do something about it. That was good news – though all the difficulties of God’s plan might have caused Moses to hesitate. But then came the crunch: Moses was part of his plan!

    That is the context of our own relationship, and all our prayers. We too are part of God’s plan!

Questions:

1) What is your prayer life like?

2) How does what we know about God affect the way we relate to him?