We have finished our study of the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus and have considered the priorities of our Savior as revealed in this critical prayer. This puts us in a good place to consider the topic of prayer in more depth. To better understand what Scripture teaches about this important practice of the Christian life, we will now pause our study of John’s gospel and follow Dr. R.C. Sproul’s teaching series Prayer as a guide for our next several daily studies.
There is much to be said about prayer, but as is the case with all important topics, it is vital that we start with the basics. Fundamentally, prayer consists of a conversation between us and the Lord, and in any conversation, we must be cognizant of who the participants are. In other words, in order to get prayer right, we must know who God is and who we are. We will start by considering who God is.
Around the world, Americans are known for being more informal than the residents of other countries. We lack an established monarchy. We are casual in our dress and in our speech in many places where formality once reigned. On the whole, our relationships with our supervisors and with those whom we supervise tend toward looseness or toward being more relaxed than was the case in generations past.
These developments have not been without positive effects; yet, there have been negatives as well. This informality has extended even to how we regard our relationship with God. We view God only as a friend. Of course, we can call Jesus our “friend” (John 15:15) in the sense that He is far more loyal to us than any other person is. The trouble is that we all too often see our Creator as our “buddy” or “pal” in such a way that we are on the same level that He is. This should not be. God, indeed, is friendly toward us, but He remains our Sovereign. When we approach Him as our friend, we do not approach Him as we do our other friends but as the God who is “majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders” (Ex. 15:11).
This means that we must ever be in awe of our Creator. When we approach Him in prayer, we must remember who He is—the Lord God Almighty who is deserving of all honor, glory, and praise (1 Tim. 1:17). We must bow to His greatness, worshiping Him and remembering that He upholds us by His grace.