At Home Relationship with Christ

This summer our Vancouver Epic Wineskins community has been looking at what Scripture has to say in regard to prayer and what we might learn in the process that would enable us to pray more effectively.   The impetus behind this prayer focus was a discussion we had some months back on why it seems that our prayers are somewhat ineffective as compared to believers in other parts of the world – most specifically the Third World.  

Two weeks ago we began looking at John 15:1-17; Jesus” familar Vine and Branches passage just prior to His crucifixion.  In this text, Jesus says a two things in regard to prayer:

1. “…..ask what you wish, and it will be done for you.” [v.7]

2. “… so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” [v.16]

These two examples seem to be conditional, but conditional on what?  I don’t believe its some type of performance or something we do. This has generally been the way I’ve understood the passage – very North American.  But this passage is about “abiding” or “remaining” in Christ depending on the translation one uses.  In The Message a paraphrase by Eugene Peterson (which I highly recommend) inserts a the phrase “make  your home in me” or “make yourselves at home in me,” instead of using the words “remain” or “abide.”

For one who has struggled acquiring a handle on these words “remain” and “abide” the phrase “make your home in me” is much less murky and more clear.  To abide or remain in Christ is to make ourselves at home in Him.  It’s a relational term that requires one to be transparent, open, honesty, and relaxed.  

At home I do many things that I would not do in someone else’s home.  I take my shoes off, let down my hair a bit, find myself more relaxed and comfortable.  In a way I kick back and take it easy.  There is a familiarity I experience at home that is mine no where else.  Also, there are levels of intimacy that happen no where else but when I’m at home.  Even the language I use is different – at least less formal.

Isn’t this what Jesus is asking of His disciples and from us?  To be relationally at home with Him?  Not so much worried about the words we use, have a good face on, wear our best cloths, but just sit down and relax in the enjoyment of our relationship.  To be intimate and transparent.  To let go of all the pretense and showiness and just be at home with Him.  This can be a place where we are authentically joined with Him and come to know Him, not just know about Him, but KNOW Him – experientially.

Its this being at home with Him that releases the power of prayer.  We get to know Christ, like we know our spouse, our children and other family members.  I know my wife very well because of living with her under the same roof for more than 41 years.  There are things I just don’t ask of her because I know her.  I know what pleases her and I know what doesn’t.  The same goes for our relationship with Christ – if we are at home with Him. 

The condition to Christ’s above statements regarding prayer is not performance, its relationship; a being at home relationship.  So intricately connected that I can ask for what I wish, because my heart is aligned with His, like my heart is aligned with my spouse.  This is not saying, I’ve arrived – far from it.  But I’m convinced that my prayers would be more readily answered if I quit spending time trying to perform to some religious standard and focused on an at home relationship of authentically coming to know Him. The good thing is that this passage describes ways that can occur.  Join me in an at home relationship with Christ.


2 Responses

  1. I enjoyed your interpretation in prayer. I do believe that we have to come to that place where we feel at home with Christ. How else are we to have a close relationship with Him.
    You made me realize that our prayers compared to those of the third world are indeed worlds apart. We tend send our prayer to God like we leave a message to someone we can’t find. Call them on a telephone because we are to busy to go and speak with someone face to face. If they don’t answer we simply leave a message on the phone hoping that they will receive the message and get back to us.
    Those of the third world usually don’t have that technology so they walk or travel to speak to whoever they need to speak to… face to face. I believe they must Pray with the same concept. They wait for God to show up so that they may speak to him face to face. None of this, “let me hurry up and pray so that I can get back to whatever I was doing” mentality.
    Today I will spend time waiting on God so that I can speak to Him face to face.
    Blessings Rob.

  2. You can take your shoes off at my place, Rob…

    I think you’ve hit on something. It’s related to the Mary and Martha story about working versus being. Sometimes we’re trying so hard to do all the right things in all the right ways that we completely the guy – Jesus – who just wants us to hang.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: