The next question addressed in the book I'm reading about prayer is: How do I speak to an invisible God?
The author opens the chapter with a short story about a boy who is afraid of the dark. His mother comes in to check on him, saying, "Don't be afraid Billy. God is always with us, even when we can't see him." Little Billy answers, "It would help a lot more if there was someone here with skin on."
This is one thing I've not really struggled with or had questions about. Yet I understand why one would. I long to see Jesus and be in the direct presence of God. I miss and long for Someone I've never seen. But I'm pretty sure I've never had a problem praying to someone I couldn't see. I'm not sure why. My problem has more been "Out of sight, out of mind". I don't see Him, so I don't speak to Him as often as I should.
When I was a child, I remember I had an image of God in my mind when I would pray. A kind, gentle, older man, wearing a white lab coat for some reason. (The Great Physician?) But as I've come to know God more, that image has faded. I'm trying to think if I imagine any image when I pray or worship....I don't think I do.
I've heard people talk about how it helps them to worship if they imagine standing before God's throne. That sounds fine, if it works for you. For me, I was too distracted trying to figure out the details of how He would appear.
Closing my eyes has been enough for me for a long time. Mouthing the words that I'm praying has been helpful when especially distracted. There have been times, when feeling needy, I have asked the Lord for a hug and I have had the distinct sensation of being held. Wow, was that powerful!
Yes, the Bible tells us that God is Spirit (John 4:24) but it also tells us that God put skin on (John 1:14)
When I took a New Testament Greek class 10 years ago, one of the first words we learned was logos, which is translated 'word'. The professor explained that it went further than just 'word' and means 'a full expression of an idea'. Jesus, the Son, has been the expression of the Father since the beginning of time and through His 'Word' the world was created. And then He took on flesh to further show us who God is.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Col 1:15-20
God is Spirit, but He is a personal Spirit. We can talk to Him like a person. He wants a personal relationship with us. That takes time. I've always done much better with one-on-one conversations, instead of trying to converse in a large group. During the day when there's a lot going on, little sister asking to play, dogs barking, brother talking about computers, mom wanting input on the menu, counting knitting stitches, there just isn't the time or focus for a one-on-one conversation.
For a long time, I have wanted and thought I needed to wake up an hour earlier so I can get that time with God in. And I still would like to be more of a morning person. But, that just isn't happening and I realized that I was skipping Bible-reading and focused prayer time. The author talks about this issue and makes the point that while it is a good way to start your day, you've just got to get it in when you can. I agree. Morning isn't working for me, but I usually have a little down time in the afternoon. So that's my goal. Afternoon God-time. I like having a plan. ; )
Next week, Lord-willing, I'll let you know how this is going and I plan to talk about how we hear from God.