Do you love me? While it’s a great song from the old musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” the song has a few great lessons in it for us. In the song Golde and Tevye have been married for 25 years. The first time they met was on their wedding day. And in 25 years they have never said “I love you!” Can you imagine being 25 years old and never having someone tell you they loved you?
Wouldn’t you have some serious doubts about life and yourself if that happened? I know I would! What if this is the way you and I approach prayer sometimes? We don’t consciously treat the Lord this way of course, but when is the last time you told the Lord you loved Him? Felt Him say it back to you? If ever?
We pray and tell the Lord we love Him, because even though God already knows our thoughts and feelings, we don’t know His. Communication is a two way street. People who only have one-sided conversations are a bit crazy! Any one person can talk but it takes two people to communicate. Communication is an exchange of information AND understanding.
God longs for us to pray – to communicate with Him. Psalm 46:10 says “Be Still and Know I am God”
The Hebrew word for “know” in this verse is yada*. Meaning a deep knowing- knowing everything about a person. So the way God knows us (He created us after all!) is the same way He wants us to know Him! One of the ways in which He invites us to do that is through prayer.
We know God loves us, but like Golde and Tevye, we need to hear it often or we will begin to doubt God’s love for us. We hear it when we are in communication with the Lord. And you know what? God really appreciates it when we tell Him we love Him as well.
We also pray because it brings us into the right relationship with God. Prayer is a perspective and reality check, as well as a conversation and communication. “Knowing – Yada –ing” the Lord comes through and from a relationship with Him.
Sin, our laziness, and distractions all try their best to break our relationship with the Lord. They often succeed. Prayer is a way we get back on track with the Lord. If something in our lives is not from the Lord, especially emotions (anger, lust, jealousy etc) they must flee in His presence – when we bring them before the Lord in prayer. Prayer is the safest thing we can do with our emotions.
Can you remember a time when you got really upset with someone only to find out the rest of the story later? That is like what happens when we pray. The misconceptions we have about life and people are changed when we get more information – that information is found when we pray and read the Word. When we pray our hearts are changed and we are able to see things differently.
When Golde and Tevye actually talked about how the felt (communicated) everything changed for them.
Prayer is the act of grasping God’s grace and love for us. It’s communicating with Him. Does the Lord know you love Him? More importantly do you know He loves you? Talk with Him and find out just how much!
* For more thoughts on Yada check out these posts.