By Jerelyn Pearson


I was invited to join a summer Women's Bible Study. From the moment I saw the topic, I was hooked! Becoming a Woman of Prayer: I want to be one of those! Although this particular study is available for women, the message is for all of us. So I am inviting you to consider Becoming a Person of Prayer.

Prayer may have been an important part of your life for quite a while as it has for me.  So what I want to share with you today is a very simple realization that has greatly enhanced my personal prayer life.

Think back on your prayer time with God. Which of the following more clearly describes your prayer experience?

A. You going to God
B. God coming to you

I was recently asked this same question.  If I had to choose one, I probably picture myself going to God to pray more often than him coming to me.  It seems like I start to pray and then often it becomes a special time of fellowship and communication between us.

So, what if I expand my view of prayer to include the picture of God coming to me? 

I think the best place to start is in the beginning.

Genesis 2:8:
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

A lot happened between Genesis 2:8 and Genesis 3:8.

Genesis 3:8-10:
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Even after Adam and Eve had disobeyed and were hiding from God, he came to them and "called unto Adam, and said unto him, 'Where art thou?'"

How often do we "hide" from God? He calls unto us, too, by his Holy Spirit that dwells within us.

Let's go to Psalm 27. When the Lord spoke to David, David immediately responded.

Psalm 27:8:
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

The Lord invited David to "Seek ye my face" and David responded from his heart. "My heart said unto thee..."

In Psalm 100 God invites us to come before his presence and to enter his gates.

Psalm 100:2-4:
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

The Lord invites us to come before him with thanksgiving and praise. In this way we "bless his name."

In Isaiah 56 he even invites outsiders to enter.

Isaiah 56:3:
Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.

Isaiah 56:7:
Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Isaiah 56:7 is the scripture to which Jesus referred when he cleared the temple.

Mark 11:17:
And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

God invites all people and all nations to "the house of prayer" and Jesus rebukes those who have dishonored that purpose.

Let's quickly take a look at another invitation in Mark 10 while we're here.

Mark 10:13-16:
13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Jesus not only invited the children to come to him, but made them an example of "the kingdom of God... and he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them."

He takes us up in his arms and blesses us too when we accept his invitation to the kingdom of God as a little child.

We began at the beginning in Genesis with Adam and Eve, but Ephesians takes us back farther than that.

Ephesians 1:3-4:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

He made his invitation list "before the foundation of the world"

Since we began at the beginning, I think it is appropriate to end at the ending.

Revelation 3:20:
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

We get to invite him in by opening the door, but first he invites us to invite him in by knocking on the door.

The following is a quote from O. Hallesby, included in the Bible Study "Becoming a Woman of Prayer" by Cynthia Heald.

"To pray is to let Jesus come into our hearts. This teaches us, in the first place, that it is not our prayer that moves the Lord Jesus. It is Jesus who moves us to pray. He knocks. Thereby He makes known His desire to come in to us.  Our prayers are always a result of Jesus' knocking at our hearts' doors." (O. Hallesby)

So again I ask you:

Which of the following more clearly describes your prayer experience?

A. You going to God
B. God coming to you

It is humbling to think that the Lord of the heavens and earth has invited me to come to him in prayer.  When I picture myself entering into prayer at his personal invitation, drawn into his presence because he desires to fellowship with me, I find myself truly blessed in Becoming a Woman of Prayer.