Stop Praying

So I'm going to try something here. I just picked up the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, and I have heard amazing things about this book. I am super excited to start reading it, but I dont want to JUST read it; I want to EXPERIENCE it. I want to keep his words on my mind, growing closer to God with them. I want to think hard about what it means to my life and how I can change my life for His purposes. And so one thing I am going to do is be writing about each chapter, whatever that may entail. I'm not yet sure what I will be writing about, but I am going to let the Spirit guide my writing, letting God speak to me in this way. So here we go, chapter 1.

Stop praying. Stop speaking to God in empty words; he knows what you need. Rather, just know that He is God, that he is bigger than anything I could ever imagine. So tonight, rather than pray, just sit and think about how incredible God is. Know that He is there, without you even needing to connect to Him in prayer. Worship Him simply for who he is, and love all that He has done.

But this is crazy, we are told to "Pray continuously," so why should I not pray for a night? Well sometimes we just need to be able to hear God's voice, and if we are consumed in our own thoughts, then our wordy prayers may overpower God's voice. To say that you need to pray so that you can connect with God is selfish and ignorant. There are other ways to connect with God rather than just by prayer. So tonight, just sit down and think about how big our God is, and listen to see if He has anything to say to you.

But how big is our God? Bigger than anything we have any hope of imagining: bigger than our universe, bigger than anything Satan is trying to do to pull us from God, bigger than everything. His love knows no bounds, and we will never fully grasp just how much He loves us. But know this: God loves you, every single one of you, individually, enough to send his only Son Jesus Christ to this wretched earth, to be tortured and murdered on a sinner's cross. Only, Jesus was perfectly sinless, and three days later he rose from the grave, conquering sin, and death, and one day he will return to defeat Satan once and for all. God will destroy this earth that he spent so much time creating, and he will create a new earth for those whose names are the the Lamb's Book of Life.

And he did this for you. He did this for me, and for everything and everyone on this earth that loves Him. But what is amazing is that God loves us so much, that even if you were the only person to have ever lived, God still would have sent Jesus here, because God desires to have a relationship with everyone; He doesnt want anyone to die and spend eternity apart from Him. Everything that exists is here for the sole purpose to glorify God; from the complexity of life itself to the immesurable vastness of this universe, everything points back to there being a single God who loves us. No one is without excuse for not knowing God. We all have the Law written on our hearts, and everything that has been made betrays God's very nature, his invisible qualities. But God also chooses those whom He wants to spend eternity with, we need only to accept it.

So what does it mean to accept God's love? Well what does it mean to accept love here on earth? It means that someone cares about you very much and that they desire to get to know you more deeply. For friends, it could mean getting to know the dark past on one another so that they can help you overcome it; for lovers it could be the moment you decide that you want to spend your lives together, and you offer her the ring. But in each case, the love must be mutual: someone just isnt going to spill every bad thing they have done in life unless they trust the listener; the woman will not agree to marry the man if she does not trust him. So it is with God, in order to accept his love, we must trust in God fully. We must believe in what he has done for us, and that God's love is more than enough to cover all of our sins. We must believe that He truly wants to have us get closer to Him, and that every problem on this earth can be overcome with God at our side and the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We must trust that God is who he says he is, and that when we die we will be given life eternal in heaven and forever be in communion with God. Its a pretty heavy trust, because everything in this world Satan is trying to use to break that trust. But God's love for us is greater than anything Satan could throw at us, we need only believe it, and accept God's free gift of salvation.

So tonight, go ahead and just sit and think about how great God's love is for us. Think about how everything that has been made, eveything that we can see and everything we cant see, everything that has ever been and ever will be, think about how it all points back to the love God has for us. And let Him speak to you; be silent so you can hear his voice, invite him to come and sit with you. And then, go ahead and pray, and thank God for being all that he is.