One of the most amazing things we see in the Bible is how much time Jesus spent in prayer. Throughout all the gospels, it is well documented how close Jesus is with God the Father. John 17 is a whole chapter that talks about the High Priestly prayer Jesus has with the Father, exemplifying for us the importance of communion with God. Also, in this chapter Jesus reiterates the total dependence He has on the Father during this time. In verse 7-8 Jesus says, “Now they know that everything that You have given me is from You. For I have given them the words that You gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.”
Can you imagine if Jesus – the Son of God, part of the triune God, fully divine, all-knowing and all-powerful, and so much more – needed to take large parts of His day to talk to God the Father, imagine how much time we should (and need) to take out of our day to talk to our heavenly Father. Usually, we live our lives going at a hectic schedule where most of us wake up, go to work or school, then come home and wind down, and then sometimes find time to squeeze a little time for God in our evening prayer. And that is just a hasty 3-5 minutes praying and reading the Bible to try to fulfill a “quota” of time we need to spend with God. We as Christians ought to live our lives to glorify our Creator and the One who saved us, but we end up serving Him the leftovers and crumbs when we should be serving Him the prime cuts or the best servings we have to offer. After all, our whole existence is dependent on Him and what He did for us, not the other way around.
Francis Chan directly talks about this issue in his book Crazy Love. In the first chapter he challenges us to think more about the two glimpses of the throne room talked about in Isaiah 6 and in Revelation 4. In Revelation 4, John tries to articulate what he saw in the throne room when he was standing in front of God, but he isn’t able to completely describe it in its beauty. Even the illustration that John gives us is hard to imagine. Take a few seconds to read John’s recollection:
“After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne. And He who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
In the chapter, Francis Chan tells us to imagine the most beautiful sunset we’ve ever seen and to try to describe it in words. It’s extremely hard to do so, for some reason we can never articulate the true beauty and splendor of the image God created. Even if we were to try to imagine every unique, individual, stunning, magical sunset in the entire world, and amass all the best parts of each one to create the “perfect” sunset, it still would not compare to the glory that is the Lord. This is only a sliver of what John was probably feeling when he tried to describe the heavenly throne room, something so much more beautiful and majestic than a sunset we see everyday. Try to imagine yourself in that throne room surrounded by the 24 elders with golden crowns, the seven blazing torches, the sea of glass that looks like crystal, the six-winged beings with eyes covering their bodies with four different faces. On top of that, all the members in the throne room fall on their faces and praise God while the four creatures never stop chanting “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!”
Just imagine yourself being in that room in front of the eternal, all knowing, all powerful, just, fair, and perfect God who created everything, the next time you pray just take a moment and reflect on how great and awesome of a being he is. We soon start to realize our prayers have no choice but be more than the cursory, repetitive words we normally pray. How could we allow ourselves to live this way? Treating God as if He served us rather than us serving Him? It’s almost like God is our genie in a bottle, we rub on the lamp at our convenience and when we need Him. Even if we were to give Him one hundred percent of our lives, we wouldn’t have done enough to pay for what He did for us. That is how insignificant we truly are. Psalm 8 says in verses 3 and 4 “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” These aren’t the only verses in the Bible that talk about the power and glory and being of God, they fill the Bible from cover to cover. He has no need for us, we are the ones that need Him. Our God is an awesome God who reigns, and our every breath to Him, all of our very lives. But He wants us, He chooses us. It is only because He loves us so much and wants to be with us that He did what He did. We are called to worship Him, love Him and glorify Him. So the next time you pray, take a moment of silence and just be in awe of our God, whose power and worth becomes more apparent when we try to understand how miniscule we are to Him. My prayer is that the next time we spend time with God it won’t a be mundane act but rather one that is caught up in the majesty of who God is.