Just for them to grace us with their presence has made such a difference. How much more if the guest is Jesus! I love to say that life’s ultimate privilege is Jesus at my table. Guess what? He wants to be there. So through Jesus we can have at our meetings:
1. God’s Holy character—where revival begins
2. God’s omnisciently accurate evaluation of our family or church condition
3. God’s all-wise solutions
4. God’s promised blessing and reward
I might add—all free just for opening the door.
At this point, we have moved from Jesus Christ obviously present and actively in charge to praying with Jesus Christ obviously present and actively in charge. This is to be “command central” for our homes and churches. Make sure you go all the way to Jesus. (No subtle substitutes.)
Let’s make a final observation from this letter to the Laodicea church, Revelation 3:14-21. As I studied this letter in the context of the actual landscape of today’s church, I can identify four distinct groups which represent four attitudes of prayer.
Group #1—These are “rich, increased with goods and have need of nothing” (v. 17a). They think they have no need, so they pray without heart. They are self-centered and self-sufficient.
Group #2—This group embraces their identity from Jesus as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (v. 17b) and they get stuck there, seemingly unable to move on. They are overwhelmed with need, so they pray without hope. They are problem-centered. The pride of self-pity is seldom recognized. Its chains are strong and deceitful.
Group #3—These zealots get their fire from Jesus’s words in verse 19. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” So they launch with all good intention to take back the kingdom of their own hearts by force. They pray without rest because they are works centered. All of these so far, I call “subtle substitutes” for Jesus.
Group #4—The fourth group hears the knock, opens the door, and feasts on Jesus’ presence. They are true worshipers. They pray with heart, and hope, and rest because they are Christ-centered. This is the place where individuals, families, and churches thrive with love, joy, peace, and lasting fruit.
We need to make sure our praying takes us all the way to Jesus.