The Initiator

“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great.’ Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me…” Genesis 15:1-2

The initiation of prayer is the greatest misconception about prayer. Prayer is the highest form of communication. It is initiated by God, not by man. Prayer is not just a good idea that has come to your mind. Prayer has always been God’s idea.

When the proverbial light bulb goes off in your brain, and you being to pray, you are responding to a call of God. He turned on the light because He was weary of watching you sit in the dark.

When you pray, you are not giving God information. He already knows what is on your mind. He wants you to place what is on your mind into His hands. When you draw near to God in prayer, you will discover He has been calling to you much longer than you have been listening to Him.

This passage reveals God as The Initiator. He came to Abram in a vision to calm his anxious thoughts. Abram had been worrying about the promise of God. Obsessed with the promise, Abram had missed The Presence.

God had promised to make a great nation through Abram, but without an heir to succeed him, there wasn’t much power in the promise. Abram began to do the math in his head. No matter how he figured it, the numbers just didn’t add up. One is still the loneliest number when God is left out of the equation.

The Patriarch would not be the last man to confuse God’s delay with God’s denial. Faith’s greatest battleground is the waiting room. Fear arises in the strongest of hearts when the delivery of a promise of God is delayed.

Fear screams for you to take matters into your own hands, and to fight for the survival of a promise of God. All the screaming and scheming in the world will not breathe life into a promise. Only God can do that.

Man-made creations postpone the promise of God. They are like counterfeit currency of the real thing. They lead to spiritual bankruptcy, and have long-lasting consequences.

The Risen Christ interrupted a conversation between two disciples totally overwhelmed by the events surrounding the crucifixion. Jesus took the initiative to engage them in conversation. These discouraged disciples even resented it when He did. They had not been praying to God. They had been talking to one another about the crisis. The more they talked about it the greater their crisis became. Jesus stepped in to heal their hearts with His Presence. He made sense out of it once they placed it in His hands. He still does.

“While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them…And He said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ “ Luke 24:17

God promised Abram that He would be a shield to him, and that his reward would be great. Rather than stand confidently behind the shield of faith in God, Abram began to race ahead of God. As his mind raced to figure out how God was going to fulfill the promise, God stepped in to turn Abram’s eyes of faith back to Him.

NOTE TO SELF: Stop trying to help God out of a jam. Every time you try to help God out, you place more faith in yourself than you do in God. Prayer gives the Holy Spirit the elbowroom He needs to prepare you to receive the promise of God. Stop rushing the process. Embrace it. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!