Press in today. And we’ll start talking about the who/what/when/where/why of prayer… Who do we pray to?
If you are a follower of Jesus, then you know that everything you do is – or should – God-centric; therefore, the question, “Who do we pray to?” is very important. There’s the obvious answer: God. And this may seem done and dusted. Answered. But who is God?
If you are not Christian, then you know that Christians pray to God. But you may not know why. The “why” centers on the “who”. Who God is – his character and his heart, his names and what he has done for humans – this is what our faith hinges upon. Because the Christian God is good, I am happy to give my life to him. I’m not afraid. And this gives me joy. This makes me want to pray – to talk with him.
I realize that you may have problems with some of these answers I give. When you think about God, you might not have a great picture. When people talk about God as a father, you may not like that because of your experience of fathers. When people say that God is good, you may not believe it… because your life has not been good, or because you have seen too many bad things on the news and think that a good God couldn’t let those things happen. I’m working on posts to help you out with those difficulties. Because they are important to acknowledge. They are important to address. And they are important to answer and heal.
For now, I would love to have you write down or draw who you view God to be right now. It’s a starting point.
Is he like Zeus or Poseidon, unpredictable and fallible, or he is calm and serene like Buddha? Is he like your father or mother? Is he like an old judge or a dancing genie?
Whatever you view him to be now, He invites you to look at the truth of who he is. And we find out who he is by stories in scripture, testimonies and stories of people we know, and by his presence in our own lives – spending time with him. In prayer.
When I was in the fourth grade, I have this distinct memory of walking outside from the school classroom, then out down the sidewalk toward the lunch cafeteria… and it suddenly hit me. Who is God? As a child, I was able to take initiative with the faith of a child (something I really want to hang on to), and seek out the character of God. I began making lists (I love visuals, can you tell?) and figuring out who he was for myself. I look back at this time, and stand in awe and wonder of how God drew me to himself through knowledge of who he is.
So who is God? I can only begin to scratch the surface of who he is. But, feel free to start your next list of who you know him to be, not what you imagine him to be this time. Share your favourites with us on our Facebook page.
Let’s start our blog list that first one I mentioned. God is good. We pray to a good and just God. When I pray, I find myself just thanking God that he is good. He is not like Zeus, sometimes good and sometimes just. He is always good and always just.
The one true God could be anything he wanted to be when you think about it. But he chooses to be good. I think that’s amazing.
So you can put “good” in front of any noun that God is. “Good, good Father”, like the song. Good protector, good comforter, good healer, good judge.
Here is a [short] list of who God is:
Love – 1 John 4:16, John 15:13, Jeremiah 31:3
Friend – John 15:14-15, James 2:23
Faithful – Exodus 34:6-7, Deuteronomy 7:9, 2 Timothy 2:13, Hebrews 10:23
Just – Exodus 34:7b, 2 Samuel 22:28, Psalm 140:12, Colossians 3:25
Righteous – Job 37:23, Psalm 48:10, Revelation 15:3
Mighty – Zephaniah 3:17, Nahum 1:3, Matthew 19:36
Truth – Isaiah 65:16, 1 John 5:20,
Comforter – Isaiah 51:12, Matthew 5:4, John 14:18, 2 Corinthians 1:3
Counselor – Isaiah 9:6, John 1:14
Compassionate/Merciful – Psalm 116:5, II Chronicles 30:9, Micah 7:18
Rescuer/Savior – Psalm 68:19-20, Psalm 81:4
Defender/Advocate – Deuteronomy 20:4, 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Emmanuel/God with us – Joshua 1:9, Zephaniah 3:17, Matthew 1:23
Security/Unchanging – 2 Samuel 22:33, Numbers 23:19, Romans 8:38-39
Light – 2 Samuel 22:29, John 8:12, 1 John 1:5
Father – Malachi 2:10, Matthew 23:9, 1 Corinthians 8:6, 1 John 3:1
Spirit – John 14:16, 26
Helper – Psalm 118:7, Isaiah 41:10, Hebrews 13:6
Healer – Psalm 147:2, Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 11:28-29
Good – Exodus 33:19, James 1:17
So who do we pray to?
When we pray, we pray to a God who is – and will always be – these many, many good names. When I am lonely, I pray to a friend. When I feel shame, I pray to a redeemer. When I am happy, I praise and adore my unending joy. And every day, I can come to a God who is creator of everything, king of kings, lord of lords, mighty in battle, strong to save.
Let’s seek and find who God is. We have got to begin to intimately know the God we are praying to in order to build faith and move mountains.