Approaching God in prayer!

To truly pray we need to give God our will, our mind, and our heart.

November 20

There was an altar made of wood, 3 ½ feet square and 5 ¼ feet high. Its corners, base, and sides were all made of wood. “This,” the man told me, “is the table that stands in the LORD’s presence.”

Ezekiel 41:22

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Approaching God in prayer!

Ezekiel is given a vision that takes him on a tour of the temple.  At this time in history there was no temple.  Solomon’s temple had been destroyed.  So, this vision is looking to the future.  Some believe that this points to the temple that existed at the time of Christ.  Others believe it looks even further forward to a time when Jesus has set up His kingdom.

Our verse for the day describes an altar that appears to be the altar of incense.  On this altar the priest would offer up incense and prayers for the atonement of the people.  Incense is often used in Scripture as an illustration of prayer.  Prayer is said to rise up to heaven like incense.  The prayers of the righteous are also described as sweet-smelling like incense.

When we pray, we are making a sacrifice or an offering up to God.  Many people view prayer as a way to get things from God, but it is in fact a time when we should be giving to God.  To truly pray we need to give God our will, our mind, and our heart.  We should be giving Him adoration, respect, and honor.  It is perfectly correct to ask God for what we need or want, but those requests should follow us giving to God what He deserves.

What struck me about this verse was that this table stands in the LORD’s presence.  When we pray we are entering into the LORD’s presence.  We are stepping up to a table that He is already standing at.  I believe our prayers will be more passionate and powerful as we embrace this image and understand its significance more deeply.  When we pray, we are standing in the very presence of God.

Our prayers do not have to travel through a trillion miles of wires or airwaves to reach God.  They do not travel through a switchboard or router to get to a server in heaven.  When we bow our hearts before God we are ushered directly into His presence.  As the words leave our hearts, they go directly to the ears of the Almighty God that is Creator of all that we know or see.

Prayer should be an intimate conversation between you and your loving Father.  Don’t let the fact that He is in heaven cause you to wonder if He can hear you.  He can hear you because you have come up to His altar of prayer.  Pray as though He is right there because He is.  Not only is He right there but He loves to hear from His children.  It brings Him joy when we come to His table to talk with Him.  Jesus, teach us to pray like You are standing right there with us.

Daily Bible Reading:
Read: Ezekiel 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17; Psalm 118:19-29; Proverbs 28:3-5

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