“Prayer is either a sheer illusion or a personal contact between embryonic, incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person. Prayer in the sense of petition, asking for things, is a small part of it, confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread and wine. In it God shows himself to us. That He answers prayer is a corollary, not necessarily the most important one, from that revelation. What He does is learned from what He is.” CS Lewis, “The Efficacy of Prayer” from The World’s Last Night and Other Essays
Recently God tenderly illustrated how He reveals himself in prayer. Two of our dear friends were struggling with some problems. We invited this couple over to our home for dinner followed by a time of prayer. After sharing our meal together, the four of us gathered in our living room and implored Almighty God for help with these difficulties.
As my husband and I prayed all that was in our hearts for them, God was ministering to my friend who was given a picture in her imagination. She saw herself as a small girl wearing a backpack. She watched herself take her left arm out and her right arm out and then hand her pack to Jesus. She watched as He put His left arm in her pack and then His right arm in. Once her pack was on His back, she observed Him taking her hand, as the two of them skipped happily off, swinging their arms. She left our time of prayer lighter, her sense of peace and equilibrium restored. Her burdens had been shifted onto the One Who Revealed Himself as her Burden Bearer.
No doubt some of our requests from that night of prayer will be answered as a corollary, but the most important part was the Revelation of the Lord Himself drawing near to love His child.
Lord Jesus, I am feeling sad and anxious, weighted down. Today I am putting these burdens in my backpack and handing it to you. I am reaching up to clasp your Hand as You clasp mine. Let’s skip through this day together.