Wednesday, March 17, 2010

PRAYER & THE TUNNEL ANALOGY

1st 3 pics are mine. 4th pic from Computer- -Birds Looks like a Smiley Face-Because You made it!

CONTINUING THE TUNNEL ANALOGY I'M GOING TO POST A FEW TIMES ON PRAYER.

This can be a very touchy subject, confusing and even controversial to say the least. It's something I believe in so strongly that I'd just like to share a few points of MY take on it, using the same Tunnel we made it 3/4 of the way through! I believe prayer is most powerful weapon and tool we as Christians possess. The are innumerable mentions of prayer in the bible and one facet I find interesting. It seems that a lot of us (a generalization) believe that our prayers go up!

We think of God in Heaven, and we are told to pray to the Father, through Jesus, who delivers them to God, (He is seated at the Right Hand of the Father to Act as our High Priest), so WE can go directly to the Father through Him! We are even told (and I paraphrase-to bring our prayers to the very Throne room of God OURSELVES). At first when we pray, let's picture a tunnel going UP to the Throne Room of God in Heaven. It is a long tunnel and you can barely see light at the top end of it. Our prayers have to make it all the way up to the throne room! We are told to Enter into the Very presence of the Throne room of God with our prayers, petitions, questions, concerns. But it seems blocked.

What is blocking it. The Bible says, unknown or un-confessed sin, bitterness, envy, strife, anger, resentment- things that build up in us every day, naturally. So we say- as part of the analogy - "I don't feel like my prayers are making it past the ceiling. They'll never get to God- I'm not worthy enough to pray, etc." But say through faith, we decide to press on to the throne room anyway, with our prayers. We start walking but we encounter the first obstacles in the tunnel. A fallen timber with rocks all around, debris and tons of spider webs!

That would stop most of us right there. The Indiana Jones picture in your mind is perfect--way to go!! Say we yell out our prayer hoping it will carry...doubting it will, and then we confess a sin or bitterness or something we did wrong just in case! Something tells us to pick up an arm load of sticks and a stone or two, and carry them back to the entrance with us! There is a beautiful crystal clear pool at the entrance on the right as we are coming out. Strange. We didn't see it on our way in. Instinctively we drop our burdened arms and heavy load into the water, and as clear as it is- everything disappears instantly: out of sight.

And say we are just stubborn enough to return to our prayer closet like the little widow that kept going to the judge, returning to the tunnel again and again. Each time carrying out blockage, sin, debris, resentment, and as we come out dropping all the debris in the pool of forgiveness, and it consumes it hungrily, everything vanishing immediately and we KNOW that particular load is gone forever! And we feel lighter and lighter, each time we go to the tunnel to pray. Feeble as they may be- we say what is on our hearts in everyday words. Honest, open, painful, penitent, boldly, angrily, softly, with tears....you get the picture.

We get a little bolder, our circumstances still haven't changed, but our attitude has. We see a little further down the tunnel. This goes on every day, as Paul says, we are to pray without ceasing. (We may cover this later). But it means to Have an attitude of prayer and expectancy. The tunnel is getting clearer and we are drawing closer to God. Through Jesus and the Cross we can, and do finally make it to the Throne Room. We have painstakingly and deliberately cleaned out all the junk in the tunnel and nothing is hindering our prayers and ability to access God. Whether we FEEL like it or not- we do have access permanently and immediately.

Circumstances begin to change, our attitude is better, people notice that we are not as down or depressed as we used to be. An unexpected check comes in the mail, a card from a friend, an unexpected promotion.....well you get the picture: ANSWERS TO OUR PRAYERS!!!!! And it's all because we started clearing out the tunnel, one rock, stick and brick at a time. If we keep it up we can have a polished, shining bright tiled tunnel, painted with beautiful murals and bright lights all the way to the Foot of the Cross and the Throne Room. Here, we can really lay all our burdens down, at the feet of Jesus, who bore all our sins and made it possible to talk to God in the first place.

What started as the unknown, and a total chore, is now easy as pie. Because WE got to know OURSELVES, and Our Lord by spending time with Him. Continually getting into, and staying in His presence. Every once in a while there is a slight cave in and we take two steps back. But take the new wheelbarrow that will now fit easily into the tunnel, and do some maintenance work, and immediately the pathway is restored. If we continually maintain it, asking forgiveness daily, it is easier for us to enter into and stay in His presence. And then it gets to be an unconscious act and we are able to:

-PRAY WITHOUT CEASING-
MAINTAINING AN ATTITUDE OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP
CONSTANTLY TALK TO ABBA FATHER- (OUR DAD)
&
CONTINUALLY WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT!
(AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!)

Practice makes perfect!

AMEN

There is much more to it than that, and I will post more as it comes. But I'm starting with one load of junk EVERY DAY in cleaning out my tunnel. How about you? One load at a time!

I mean- It IS time for Spring cleaning! LOL.

Love to you all,

John