How Can We Orient Ourselves to Prayerfulness?
by Sue Hitchman
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
(2 Cor. 4:18, NIV)
The orientation of prayerfulness is really all about the unseen. It’s about entering the realm where an awareness of God’s glory requires us to see something that is more real than an image impressed on the eye’s retina and sent to our brain’s visual cortex.
I’m interested in the event recorded in the gospels of the ‘transfiguration’ of Jesus. Atop a high mountain, His three closest companions are suddenly enabled to see Him as glorious.
“His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2, NIV).
A measure of the glorious brightness of His eternal being, set aside during His tenure on earth, is revealed in that moment.
Rather than falling in worship as would have been appropriate at that moment, one companion, the impulsive Peter, begins to babble on about his impressions and plans to supplement Christ’s transfiguration. He is stuck in the temporal, the here and now. He wants to manipulate what he sees to fit his own plans.
“This is my Son, whom I love,” thunders a voice from an enveloping cloud; “with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5, NIV).
Breath and feet knocked out from beneath them, Peter and his companions fall facedown in fitting terror. God makes it clear He doesn’t need followers to augment His glory. He is already completely pleased with the expression of His triune being. What is needed is for the disciples to worship, and to listen. Their own transformation from willful, impulsive, fearful, doubting novices is dependent upon this attitude. God has plans for them. He has plans for them far beyond what they have envisioned. He wants to transfigure them.
Transfigure, transform, metamorphose: they all mean to make a thorough and dramatic change to one’s appearance, form or character.
Jesus’ transfiguration is an expression of God the Father’s pleasure and love for His only begotten Son—an extension of His glory. Jesus’ followers witness the communion of the Father and Son for a brief moment in time; they catch a visual glimpse of the unseen and eternal. The beauty of Jesus in relationship with His Father strikes them with awe, and they finally fall prostrate before Him.
Relationship with God equals transformation, transfiguration, metamorphosis.
This is what I need. I need a deeper relationship with God, and I need to be changed.
I need a metamorphosis, and I have a growing sense
that it must come through prayer. (tweet this)
Moses’ extended tête-à-tête with God on Mount Sinai resulted in a similar radiance, “because he had spoken with the LORD” (Exodus 34:29, NIV). This connection with the Father is what I need, and prayer is the medium I have been given.
Primarily I must listen; somehow I must respond.
Like Samuel I have much to learn;
“Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10, NIV).
Sue seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker. She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God. Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh.