When I was a much younger Christian, I had an image of prayer that looked something like this. I would close my eyes and squint really hard. I would then pray earnestly and powerfully, almost as if I was forcing my words as hard as I could beyond the ceiling and hopefully up to the throne room of God. I know it sounds comical. But that’s how I saw it at the time.
Because of my lack of understanding of grace, I spent most of my time feeling ashamed and far away from God. I knew God loved me, but because of all I had done and all I struggled with, I was sure that His love was through the gritting of His teeth as He tolerated this oft disobedient child of His.
You may not have the extreme views that I did, but nonetheless many today feel that God is not close. They feel as though their prayers are seldom heard and that the way to get God’s attention is to “be a better Christian,” do more, go to church more, read the Bible more, etc.
If this is you, then let me share something with you that will totally change your view of both prayer and God. Once I came to realize this truth it revolutionized my relationship with God and brought a sense of closeness with Him like I’d never experienced in my life. Colossians 3:3 says:
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Did you know that when you are born again, literally born in heaven, that you are in God? And not only that, you are hidden in Christ, in God.
Let me give you a picture that might help. Right now my beautiful wife is pregnant with our 5th child. She just entered her second trimester and already she can feel our little one kicking and moving around. Our child is very literally in my wife, in her womb.
That’s the way it is with us and God.
When we died to all that we once were and were reborn through Christ, Jesus literally came to live inside of us through the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22). We are also literally in him (2 Cor. 5:17) as a result of his work on the cross. This mutual indwelling tells us that we have no less been invited to come and live inside the Trinity of love as a child of God (John 17:20-21). If you want to see how central this idea is to living our lives in God, take a concordance and just look at all the many verses where Paul mentions us being in Christ.
So the next time you pray, don’t worry that your prayers aren’t being heard. They are. You are praying from inside God. When you sleep, rest well. You are sleeping in God. When you work, work as unto the Lord, because in reality you are working in God. When you serve Christ in the kingdom, do it with all of your heart, because your work is being done right in the midst of God.
I’ve heard it said that we should “press in” to God, to “get closer” to Him. The Truth is, if we are a child of God, we could never be more close to Him than we are right now. We are hidden in Christ, in Him.