What if the Bible didn’t exist?
Have you ever pondered that question? Theologians talk about the concepts of general revelation (God has revealed Himself in Creation) and special revelation (God has revealed certain characteristics about Himself – like love, righteousness, and mercy – in Scripture).
So, if we did not have the Bible, we might know that Jesus existed, but we would likely care much less (would the historians have written enough for us to know what He did, let alone why He did it). And we would know far less about God.
But another idea that would probably escape us completely is prayer.
We may have wandered around looking up at the stars and wondering about their origin. We may have even “talked” to whatever we thought might have put them there. The same is true with any aspect of Creation. Again, that is the idea of general revelation. God has revealed Himself in a general way. We can look at Creation and know that something or someone exists, but we cannot have certainty.
So, if we talked to this thing or creature or even person, it would have been very impersonal. But with special revelation, we can know that we not just talking into an empty void – Someone actually hears what we are saying.
And when we are talking to God, we consider it more than talking. We call it prayer.
The word prayer actually comes from a Latin word which means to plea or to beg. And, of course, we do plenty of that when we pray. But prayer is, at least it should be, more than that. Prayer is a discussion with the maker of the universe.
Therefore, we must realize that prayer is a privilege.
I have never talked to a president or even a governor. I can’t say that I have tried, but the reality is that I am likely not important enough for them to take the time to listen to me. I can say that about most people – whether we may consider them to have an important position or not.
But God wants to hear from me. And He wants me to listen to Him as well. The maker and ruler of the universe…the one whose majesty is beyond all imagination…the one who watches me fail Him every day wants to talk with me. He desires it!
If we were to consider God as busy (which would be a misunderstanding), God would have to be busier than the president or governor. God would have far more concerns than any one person on earth, and we might say that God has more concerns than all of the people of the earth, in part because He is concerned about everyone on the earth.
But unlike a president who would change his schedule for something more important, God waits to hear from us. That is a privilege. And it is the privilege of all of mankind, but particularly for those who are His called His children.
And it is a privilege that we know because of the Bible. Scripture is filled with many, many examples of people praying. We can read their prayers. We can see God respond. We can see the results.
For the past few months, I have been sharing about the profitability of Scripture based upon 2 Timothy 3.16. One area of profit is what Scripture teaches us, and one of the concepts it teaches is prayer.
Why am I talking about prayer? Well, prayer is the next discipline we will cover on this blog. So, over the next couple of months, we will review some ideas about prayer. My intention is not to exhaust the ideas about prayer – I don’t think that is possible. So, like I said with the Bible, we will take some time to discuss prayer now, and then return to the idea later.
But we must consider the importance of prayer. If we are to live in the world, not of the world…if we are to redeem the time, we cannot do so under our own power nor by our own understanding. As Jesus told His disciples on His last night with them, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Because of that truth, among others, God has given us the gift of prayer. It is a gift He intends for us to use. So, let us prepare to explore this gift in the weeks to come.
REMINDER: If you wish to watch these posts in video form, I am live most every Wednesday at 7 pm on our church’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-ruMRCdzAaaTo1hiDyzwOg. At present, the video is the post from the prior week. During the weeks I am live, you can post questions and comments during the livestream if you wish.