Our Father wants us to be a praying people. Before this pandemic many of us made the excuse that we were too busy. We prayed, a little bit here, a little bit there. And our Heavenly Daddy was happy for those few minutes. He loves it when we talk to him, sing to him, spend time with him. And then the pandemic hit, and now most of us have more free time. Even those who are continuing to work, but from home, should have more free time, because they are no longer having to commute to and from work. How are we using those extra hours?
Please do not get me wrong – I am not suggesting we all need to spend three hours on our knees praying for everything that we can think of. Did you notice how I mentioned singing earlier? Putting on praise and worship music and joining in is praying. Now I have to admit that my hearing is not the best, and some of the songs that I have enjoyed do not always have the clearest lyrics. That should not be a problem, however, because most of the lyrics are easily available on the internet. Any song that I find myself enjoying I google the lyrics, print them off, and am then able to join in when the song is playing. This is worship. This is spending time with our Heavenly Daddy. This is not all that I do in prayer, but I have to admit it has become a very important part for me.
Do you know who is the first person called a prophet in the Bible? It’s Abraham. And it was God who called him a prophet, so I think he definitely was a prophet. Yet there is no record that Abraham ever prophesied. The story is in Genesis chapter twenty. It is the story of when Abraham felt he had to tell everyone that Sarah was his sister, so that he would not be killed when someone wanted her as his wife. Abimelek king of Gerar in this instance was the one who wanted Sarah, so he took her. Before he had done anything with her, however, God spoke to him in a dream and tells Abimelek that Sarah is a married woman. He tells him to return her to her husband, who is a prophet, and he would pray for him. And that seems to be what a prophet is in this situation, one who prays. That is exactly what we see in Abraham. God shares with him, and he prays. Two chapters earlier God had shared with Abraham about destroying Sodom, and Abraham’s response was to pray. But perhaps an even better title for Abraham is ‘friend of God.’ The heart of the prophetic is surely friendship with God. And the closer the friendship the deeper the sharing.
There are many who are looking for a ministry, but the Father is looking for friends. Notice too that when the Father referred to Abraham as a prophet he was actually not doing that well – he had lied about Sarah being his wife because he did not trust God to protect him. That is really very encouraging – Abraham did not have to be perfect to be a prophet. Neither do we. Although as we come closer to our Heavenly Daddy our lives will surely reflect that. There have been questions recently about some prophecies predicting an end to COVID-19 around Easter and Passover. It did not happen. I do personally wonder if the Lord sometimes simply shares his heart, and it is up to us to pray it into reality? I long to be a better friend of God. And as a friend I need to want what he wants. I will come into his presence; I will sing and dance and worship and have a great time. But I will also ask him to act in various situations. I believe that God has restricted himself to the prayers of his people, and my prayers will release him to do what he really wants to do – love on people!