Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Prayer's Place in Eternity


"We prioritize prayer in this life as we live for the next."

This life is the only time we have to pray. The Bible says, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known," (1 Corinthians 13:12). Later it says, "We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is," (1 John 3:2). So, after this life -- whether we die and go to heaven or live until the Lord descends to gather us to Himself -- our relationship with prayer will be different. We will no longer be walking by faith, but rather by sight. We will no longer be petitioning the God we cannot see, but rather calling on the One right before us (cf. Revelation 6:9-11).

Thus, what we have here and now is a unique opportunity to exercise faith, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). For the span of this life that is but a vapor, we have the opportunity to exercise hope that has not been fully realized. We have the opportunity to be tested and show ourselves approved. This is prayer's significance on the grand scale of eternity.

Imagine what your first face-to-face encounter with Jesus will be like. Will it be a smooth transition from this life, because you had been living like He was with you all along? Or will you need to make yourself acquainted with Him? Again from 1 John: "Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming," (2:28).

The Christian's transition from this life to the next is designed to be remarkably smooth. We know and have relationship with the God who is here with us, "whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you," (John 14:17). But this transition will only be smooth if we take Him up on His offer to speak to Him, speak of Him, abide in Him, rely upon Him, think of Him, and grow in our loving dependence on Him. Prayer is central to all of that. Let us pray!

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