Conversations With the Seer–About the Need to Pray

(Formerly in Israel, if a man went to inquire of God, he would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a Seer.”  I Samuel 9: 9)

Having to pray was becoming a burden and not the joy that I had been told it was.  Something was wrong.  So I went to the Seer and said, “I know that prayer is important; the Bible says that we are to pray.  I’ve been told all my life that I need to pray.  But I can’t seem to find it within me the need for prayer.”

The Seer paused and peered into my eyes and finally spoke.  “When a person feels complete in themselves, when they think that through their own wits they will figure out what needs to be done, when they rely on themselves for the answer to their problems–then, they will feel no need to commune with a Being that is greater than themselves for help.  Where’s the need?  They have believed the lie that it’s all in them, that they innately have within themselves god-like powers that can be tapped, if only they would believe and rely on themselves.”

The Seer set down his cup and waved his arm in a 180 degree pass, as if addressing the entire world.  “But in the end, eventually this misguided human bravado will fail; self-reliance will cease to be the source of strength; and humanism will heave its last gasp as the ‘mighty ego’ collapses under the weight of its own inflated thinking.”

“But I thought that self-reliance was a virtue–you know, depending on yourself, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, working hard, and all that.”

“Yes, but there is a fine line.  If self-reliance squeezes God out of the movie that you are making of your life, what will the final scene be?  I will tell you.  Returning from a squalid night of self-promotion, you go to your vanity and look in the mirror  past the smugness you use as lotion and past the shabby arrogance you use as cologne.  And the image of yourself in the mirror begins to talk to you and says, ‘You are not what you crack yourself up to be.’  And you scream in fright, for you have been found out.  The jig is up.  The illusion of your own grandeur falls like flimsy celluloid onto the film editor’s floor.  And then, hopefully, an epiphany will flash on the screen of your mind in the form of this truth: ‘If a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.’   And then you realize that it is this very self-deception that blinds us to the need for prayer to our Creator and Sustainer.”

“Wow.  And what about those on the opposite extreme?”

“The physically lazy will be spiritually lazy, too.  Those who are too lazy to work with their hands either rely on man’s government for their monthly check or ‘the kindness of strangers’ to make it.  Either way, the lazy are not relying on God.  Accepting steady handouts stunts all spiritual growth, for your god is who you look to for your sustenance.”

“So the proud can be the poor, too,” I said, sensing more light the deeper we delve into the subject.

“Yes.  You don’t have to be successful to be proud.  Poor or prosperous, it is human pride that blocks one’s need to pray.”

“Well, I am prideful, then, because at times I just do not feel the need.  How do I break the pride?”

“There is no  magic formula that breaks human pride.  Unless you want to call ‘obedience’ a magic formula.  Our Creator has told us to pray.  We should just obey this directive.  Understanding comes after obedience.  You must go on, trust Him, and pray to your Father.  This will rid you of that rigid pride.”

“Just like that?”  I was thinking, Surely it couldn’t be that easy.

“Of course, it must be a sincere communication to Him.  It can’t be contrived or constrained.  Constant repititions of canned prayers and praying so many times each day facing in a certain direction–that is not what God is talking about.  Remember–you are talking to your spiritual Father.”

“But I don’t know what to say to Him exactly.”

“Let’s just think in the natural world for a moment.  Let’s say that your earthly father gives you a fine wrist watch.  You see the joy on his face as he hands it to you.  What is the first thing that comes to your mind to say to him–if anything?”

“It would be, Thanks, Dad!”

“There you go.  There you have your answer as to what to say to your spiritual Father.  Instead of a wrist watch, He has given you immortality!  A life with Him forever.  He has promised that you are His heir; you will inherit all things!  You are a prince or princess in His kingdom!  You will sit with Him on His throne!  So what words should  come to mind?”

“Thank you, Father, for loving me.”

“Now that wasn’t so difficult, was it?  You just prayed, communicating a sincere appreciation, for Him including you in His plan and purpose.  Don’t you see that true prayer issues forth from a heart of belief in His promises to us, and from our simple gratefulness to Him for it?”

“I see.” 

“The key is knowledge of His promises.  Then, believing them.  This brings gratefulness that will  come out of one’s heart as words of gratitude.  This is the fount of all prayer, the oracle of all expression.”  After a moment, he asked, “Did that help?”

“Yes, it did.”  I left thinking about the word ‘prayer.’  It is nothing like what man says it is.  Then I thought about the words–promises, belief, gratitude–and realized that I was getting into something much deeper than man and his wisdom.  This wisdom was higher as the heavens are higher than the the earth, and profoundly simple as the blue of a robin’s egg or secrets of the frost and the dew.  I was full of questions, but they would have to wait for another day.  I had enough to munch on from today.                                                          Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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3 Comments

Filed under belief, faith, light, prayer, princes and princesses of God

3 responses to “Conversations With the Seer–About the Need to Pray

  1. thanks for printing that… it was a timely blessing.

  2. Your very welcome, calledsoldiers. It is my humble pleasure to be able to write the truth down and share it. I am thankful that it was a blessing to you. KWH

  3. Sara

    The simplicity of “understanding comes after obedience”! Thank you for sharing your wisdom— so beautifully written.

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