Andy Stanley is a pastor striving to honor God in all possible ways. I came to know about him via facebook today and went through some videos of him on youtube. His biblical view on prayer, just wow, in fact it is the way his father put it. The passage is based on Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” My take on this was that the reward was God’s answer to my prayer. Which means in my prayers there would be needs among thanksgiving and praise(as a result of joy within) to God.
However as the narrative continues, we read, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” It is not about words or how elegant i can put my words. My father already knows what i need before i even ask him. Now this is where Pastor Stanley begins to hit a home run. He says the moment we ask ourselves, why do i need to pray if God already knows what i need, why don’t just say praises and thanks, why do i need to tell my father about the things i need. Pastor Stanley says that in having that question, we have already began to get closer to the true meaning of why we pray. I remember a couple of my friends having this question, and i also became curious like them, “yeah why if God already knows, do i have to lay down my requests”. I remember at that time after some thinking, the simplest answer was that it is more about a relationship with God. But i can see now that my understanding on that statement was shallow.
Pastor Stanley reminds me that, the most important thing is our relationship with our heavenly father. In the video he makes an example. That secret place is the place of deep relationship with God and the reward is that inner peace. The peace that, either my father answers me, whether God says, YES or even NO, i would still be at peace. Even further, that if God does not give any response, one would still be at peace. That is a sure sign of a deep relationship with our heavenly father.
This is just wow for me. The fact that i tend to make other things the most important things in my christian walk, such as having a big name (being honored and respected for my faith). I run the danger of praying much, sacrificing much for others and in the name of God, yet not having a deep and personal relationship with my heavenly father. What a loss and wasted life. As Pastor Stanley puts its, everything comes from my relationship with God, everything. This i believe, for one simple reason, i am what i am today because of the breath of God. The fall of Adam and Eve was a broken relationship with God, before they could speak freely with God. However after they trusted their intuition more than God’s, they began to hide away from God.
All is really rubbish if it does not lead me to a deep and personal relationship with God. It is God who gave me prayer, so i can be in a secret place with him, like a married couple, such secret place is were i will grow deep and personal with my heavenly father.