Let me ask you a question. What is the primary thing about prayer? What is prayer in its highest form? What is prayer really all about at its core? It is simply this: To encounter God, to love Him and to spend time with Him. As with everything else in the Christian life, prayer is all about relationship. Ultimately, prayer is all about HIM.
Can I share what is happening in my life right now? God is rocking my world. He is uprooting long-held perspectives and patterns of behavior, and revealing startling things in my life. One of the things that He has used to do this is “Knowing You,” a worship song by Graham Kendrick. I have been listening to this song as recorded by Matthew Ward. Let me give you some of the words to this song:
All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this
Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you, there is no greater thing…
Now let me ask you—when you read these words, what comes to mind? What are the things that people build their lives on, that they hold dear, that are revered by others? Probably we all think of things like money, prestige, success, influence, fame, material possessions and the like. And that is a legitimate response. But here is what flipped me on my head. The Holy Spirit had me focus on those words and ask myself, what do I hold dear, what do I build my life on?
My answer seemed holy and righteous. And it came pretty quickly… my faith in Christ, a passion for Christ and His people, my love for my wife, a love for God’s word and knowledge of the Bible, my ministry, a God-given ability to teach and my love for teaching, a strong desire to please God and obey Him, and the list goes on. These are the things I hold most dear. Sounds good right? But suddenly I realized, even these things, these very good things are NOT enough. Only one thing is enough. HIM! The bottom line is this—nothing matters, truly matters, in my relationship with God but HIM. It is Christ, and Christ alone.
How easy it is to fall into the trap of trusting in ourselves, in our own good acts and attitudes. How easy it is to forget that all our “righteous deeds are like filthy rags in His sight” (Isaiah 64:6). How easy to think that our loving, and giving, sacrifice and suffering, impresses God and makes us fit to encounter Him. We have nothing to claim. Nothing. Nothing but Him.
Even our desire to serve and obey Him can be a subtle trap. Oswald Chambers says that when we depend upon our own self will, even to be holy, we are actually persecuting Jesus. He wrote, “Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Jesus. Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically vex and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus Whom we have been persecuting all the time, it is the most crushing revelation there could be… All I do ought to be is founded on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly.” In other words, even a self-willed determination to follow Christ is an affront to Him—for it is self-willed. We have nothing to offer Him that comes from self. Our only reliance must be on Him, and Him alone. It is only in union with Him that we have anything at all—anything.
So when you pray let me ask you, as I am asking myself, what I am seeking above all else. Is it to know Him, to be one with Him, to become like Him? Or is it to prove to God how pious I am? To demonstrate to the Almighty how “wonderfully spiritual” I am?
There can be only one right answer: To know Him! It is He, and He alone.
“I have but one passion – it is He, it is He alone.” – Count Zinzendorf
P.S. If you would like to listen to Matthew Ward singing “Knowing You” just click here.
Truth Builders is a ministry initiative of Advancing Native Missions. However, the content of this site is the personal opinion of Victor Morris, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions, views or conclusions of Advancing Native Missions, its leaders or staff