Friday, October 07, 2011

A Prayer in "Reverse Gear"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Devout Jews will be celebrating their day of atonement, Yom Kippur. Their concern on this day is to confess their sins, to be forgiven. It's quite the same as devout Christians who also want to be forgiven and restored to the favor of God, except that the latter trust the Lord Jesus Christ to do it for them.

To this observer, nothing has come to light in Jewish Yom Kippur practice or thought that evinces a concern for the Lord Himself to experience a lifting of heart-burdens on the sacred day. The concern is either self-centered, that is individualistic; or us-centered, that is, a concern for Jewry in general. God is not thought of as Someone who Himself is desperately in need, and hungry for "at-one-ment." The day of atonement is all one-sided: the people's need is served, not God's.

Christians in general are also self-centered. Our prayers are ego-centered; bless me, and bless my loved ones.

On one occasion, Christ's disciples discovered, perhaps accidentally, a Christ-centered prayer. While He was talking with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, the disciples had gone to the local market to buy some kind of safari-groceries for them to eat, for they were on a long journey walking to Galilee from Judea. "Master, eat!" they "prayed Him" (KJV). You're hungry; you must be faint from the long walking all morning. You need to take care of Yourself. Here, let us help You!

Jesus has seldom heard "prayers" like that, in reverse gear. But this "accident" opens up the possibility that serious-minded followers of Jesus can develop a new level of prayer-consciousness. It's the same level as the Bride-to-be of Revelation 19:7, 8 finally "making herself ready" for the marriage of the Lamb; it's something she does on her own initiative, and it has no egocentricity mixed in with it. The biblical agenda says it's time for it.

In the excitement, the dear lady at the well completely forgot to give Jesus the drink He needed; that deprivation has been His for a long time.

When the disciples begged Him to eat, He told them that His "food" was the joy of winning souls to the Father (John 4:31-36).

Have "lunch" with Him!

--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 22, 2007.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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