The next six weeks, I’m immersing myself in the study of prayer as I prepare to finish my little liturgy, Flower, Fruit, Field this summer. This book has been percolating in my heart for almost a year, coming together in bits and pieces. I thought a little book (maybe 12,000 words) would be a quick project, but the art of writing simple words is much more like creating a bonsai tree than assembling a puzzle with fewer pieces.
But I want to share the journey with you, and it begins at the Humble Door of Prayer. I’ve never been to Israel, but they say you have to stoop to enter the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. I’ve always pictured the door to the quiet place of our heart, one that requires us to bow in order to enter. That solitary action of bowing reminds us that we are coming to speak with our Lord, our King, the Great I AM. The sight of our dirt laden feet upon the floor reminds us that we are sinners unworthy of the love and grace He gives us when we come to be with Him.
Yet He commands us to lift our eyes, to gaze upon His face and to pour out our hearts to Him. He listens so patiently while we bumble through our frustrations, our struggles with sin, and our intercessions for those around us. He waits, and then if we will stay and listen, He speaks. He wipes away our tears when we are grieving. He wraps His arms around us when we need comfort. He emboldens our hearts when we are in distress. He promises provision in our hour of need.
But for Him to do any of those things we must ENTER into His presence and not be quick to leave the moment we finish speaking. That’s why the Door of Prayer is made low. If we are too quick to enter or leave, we will miss the amazing grace of His presence. If we do not humble ourselves, we will enter into His presence. We may yell at Him from outside the door, hoping He hears our passing request. We may step just inside the door, sound off our needs then turn and leave. But we deny ourselves the true blessing of prayer when we do so.
Lord let us never forget Your holiness. To enter Your presence is to be on holy ground. Let us never enter without reverence acknowledging the price paid for that privilege. Let us enter with humble and grateful hearts for Your desire to minister to us. Most of all, let us never leave without being made more like You. May we be living testimonies of the power of prayer.