There is a couple in our church, George and Patsy, who are both in their eighties. This couple are amazing examples to all of us in so very many ways. They both live their life for Jesus and still have this burning passion for our Lord. The life of Jesus pours out of them to all those who know them. But for the sake of this article, what I want to mention is their amazing love for each other.
They have a most beautiful marriage. It is the marriage people dream of when they speak of getting old together. One of their greatest joys is simply being with each other. It seems every moment of their life with each other is treasured. The care they give to one another is obvious in word and action. It is a beautiful thing to watch. The tenderness with which they speak about each other is deeply moving. I think I could safely say that their love for each other is far greater than when they first were married nearly 58 years ago. It seems to me that they took their first love and intentionally kept it there, causing their love for one another to grow. I am sure that in the journey of their marriage, there were times they had to work at that, but today they live in the fruit of that work. Today they live in the treasured life of good choices, disciplines in their marriage they walked in based in their love for one another, not a check-list of rules. Today, they truly know what it is to love and be loved by firstly, the Lord Jesus, and then by each other. I have been privileged to know a number of older couples like that and it is a deep joy to see them live life. They simply love being in each other’s presence.
One of the most important aspects of keeping and growing in their love for one another would have to be taking time to be with one another and sharing with each other at a deep level. That would include a great deal of communication, simply sharing their hearts, their joys, their passions, their dreams, and their struggles, etc. Through all of this, they have come to truly know one another and their love has grown.
Keeping this in mind, let us consider our relationship with our Heavenly Father – Jehovah. Would our prayer life not be of the utmost importance? Surely, this amazing gift of prayer is one of the ways we communicate with God in such depth. Is it not where we share our hearts, our joys, our passions, our dreams, our struggles, etc.? Yet at times it can be difficult to pray.
Often when we start praying, we are not what I would call “In the Presence of God.” It is true that if I am saved, I am in Him and He is in me. It is true that He is present with us always and that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. But what I am talking about is that deep intimacy with Him. That place of such oneness with our Father, when we are caught up with Him, and it seems the world around us has, as the song says, “grown strangely dim.” When we pray from that place, somehow we have a knowing that our prayers are being heard and will be answered. How and when, we don’t know, but we are so wrapped up with our Lord that our trust in Him and intimacy with Him is all that matters. It is as the Psalmist says, “Deep calling unto deep.”
At times, it is like in that amazing stillness before the Lord, when we don’t even pray. It is just being with Him, and we know He knows our hearts. Then He comes and whispers to us about a prayer that needs to be prayed. This is a beautiful place to pray from. It is so simple and tender. To pray from this place feels like you are praying in the Holy of Holies. There is a reverence and awe and you actually don’t want to utter a word that is of the flesh. As Charles Surgeon says, “God is a Spirit, unseen by mortal eye and only to be perceived by the inner man. Our spirit within us, begotten by the Holy Spirit at our regeneration, discerns the Great Spirit, communes with Him, sets before Him its requests, and received from Him answers of peace. It is a spiritual business from beginning to end.” It is in this deep place of intimacy with our Lord that we know what it is to be loved and to love.
Oh, that prayer would always be like that. But to pray like that means taking time to get there. You cannot manufacture this. It is like learning to dance. At first we don’t know how to follow; but in time, following is not even something we think about. We simply enjoy the dance. So let us take time when we can to really press in and get into that amazing presence of God and enjoy the dance of prayer. Let us consider how George and Patsy were intentional about keeping their love for each other strong and growing. Their love motivated them to live a life of good disciplines which have yielded good fruit. So it is with prayer. Out of our love for God, let us take time to be with Him — to intentionally come into His Presence and be with Him. To let communication flow both ways. Along the journey of our prayer life, there will be times it will be hard and we have to simply work at it. It takes effort, but Oh, the joy. The answered prayers seem secondary to being with the One that hears and answers them. To me that is praying from the Presence of God.