Let Us Pray: The First Prayer (2)

I had intended to move on into the Bible and begin looking at actual prayers, but as I re-read the opening chapters of Genesis, and last week’s post, I was prompted to “stay put” and continue our meditation on the first prayer—which I take to mean the ongoing communion and communication between God, Adam, and Eve.

The points from last week combine to make another point:  prayer is natural.  A lot of people are confused about prayer, and maybe even somewhat afraid of it (especially praying in public) because they don’t think they know the “language” they are supposed to use.  Elizabethan English throws them.

But what we see in Eden is that prayer is natural and conversational.  In a very holy and beautiful way—yet, also quite simple—of “walking and talking with God.”

A second thing which struck me as I re-read this section of Scripture is that the absence of prayer moves the heart of God just as much as the presence of it.  When Adam and Eve sinned and went into hiding—and stopped walking and talking with God—God went in search of them.

In a very real sense, God “prayed” even when his children didn’t.  God longed to hear their voices, and when He didn’t, He took the initiative to find out why they were silent.  (Don’t get hung up here on God’s omniscience; I’m just trying to make what struck me as a powerful point).

We know that we need to pray, but I believe the first prayer tells us that God needs to pray as well.  Something happens “in” God when we do not pray.  How can we ever put it into words?  It seems that it’s something like “loneliness” or “desire.”  But whatever it is, prayer is as important to God as it is to us.  When we are not praying, God comes looking for us to find out why—and to restore the communion and communication which (at least in part) brought about creation in the first place.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
This entry was posted in Let Us Pray. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Let Us Pray: The First Prayer (2)

  1. Pastor Kim says:

    Thanks, Steve, for these words of wisdom on prayer. I think your point of the lack of prayer causing God to come looking for us is a powerful reminder that we do not act (or fail to act) in a vacuum.

Comments are closed.