December 20
A Father and a Friend
Luke 11
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find ..." (v. 9)


The great danger of a quiet time is that we will use it as an opportunity to petition God rather than to know Him and be known by Him. I thought back to a statement I remember reading in C. S. Lewis's book, Prayer: Letters to Malcolm, to the effect that the older he got the less involved he became in petitionary prayer. "The strange thing is," said Lewis (and I am paraphrasing now), "the more I pray for things the less my prayers seem to get answered. I think God is leading me on to ask less and less for things and more and more for Himself." Then he expressed this profound thought: "Prayer is taking part in the process of being known." I glanced up as I wrote those words and looked out at the trees in my garden.
God knows everything there is to know about those trees, but they are not persons so they cannot join in the process of being known. God knows all there is to know about me, but that objective knowledge is quite different from the process of drawing close to Him in prayer and letting Him know me through my opening up to Him. One is objective knowledge, the other experiential. And what is breathtakingly marvelous about all this is that in every spiritual t?te-?-t?te I hold with God, He seeks to draw my soul into such a relationship with Him that I know Him as a Father and a Friend. Such knowledge is almost too good to be true. But also too good not to be true.
My Father and my Friend, may my times of communion with You be more than just a petitioner talking to a Supplier. I know You are willing to open Yourself fully to me; help me open myself fully to You. In Christ's Name I ask it. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What did Elihu admonish Job?
2. What was the psalmist able to say?