Like most people, I spend time on social media every day. I admit that I have, at times, spent too much time on Twitter. My son saw my feed a while back and told me it was like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. Everyone I was following on Twitter was a religious, musical cat lover! Since then I have tried to follow some different people to open myself up to a greater variety of points of view.
I have been noting how people on Twitter have been responding to the coronavirus pandemic. One that I found especially touching was a woman who said that she had prayed for the first time in many years. She said that she mostly cried and begged and felt like a bad ex who showed up after a long absence, crying and demanding.
I believe we can all identify with feeling unworthy to approach the eternal God in prayer. We haven’t done the right things, or we have done things that sting our consciences or, like this woman on Twitter, we have simply not prayed in a while.John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, experienced these same feelings in his life. There were times when he wasn’t sure of his relationship with God. Even when he was working in ministry, he sometimes doubted his status as a child of God. He talked about the faith of a servant of God in contrast to the faith of a child of God. A servant knows what is required and obeys the master. But Wesley believed that we must have a relationship with God based on more than just obedience. He knew that people with only the faith of a servant are not certain of their status before God and that they have not felt the assurance of God’s love for them. [i]
Please know that no matter who you are or what your circumstances, you are a beloved child of a loving God. When you turn to God in prayer, be assured that God is ready and eager to commune with you.
This beautiful idea reminds me of a verse from one of my favorite hymns by Isaac Watts, My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.
The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be mine abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest
(While others go and come),
No more a stranger or a guest,
But like a child at home.
In the eyes of God, you are not a stranger, you are not a servant, you are not even an honored guest. You are a child of God and when you pray, you are home.
Grace & Peace,
- Ray Wheeler Ph.D.
[i] The Wesley Study Bible, Abingdon Press, 2009, Pg. 612