“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:22-25
In the garden of Eden, before the fall of man, Adam and Eve talked with God and experienced fellowship with him. Once sin entered the world and the fellowship was broken, blood sacrifice and repentance were required to restore fellowship with God. In the tabernacle and in the temple there were different areas where Gentiles, Jewish women, and Jewish men could enter to pray and worship. Only the priests could enter the altar area. God’s presence resided in the Most Holy place in the Old Testament and only the high priest on the day of atonement could enter. Jesus died on the cross, he was the sacrifice for our sin, and he is now also our high priest. When he died, the curtain between the Most Holy place and the Holy place was torn, top to bottom. This signifies that through Jesus’ sacrifice, we can all have access to God.
Incredibly, God’s presence which Adam and Eve knew, which used to occupy the most Holy place in the tabernacle and then in the temple, now can live in your heart and mine. Paul prays for the Ephesians, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God,” Ephesians 3:16-19.
We can know and experience God’s presence in our hearts! Jesus’ sacrifice and his advocacy for us as our high priest gives us access to God, day and night. I confess, much of my life I didn’t take advantage of this access and did not make prayer, or spending time with God and being in his presence, a priority in my life. Often prayer felt like a duty, or something to check off a list. Lately I have learned that I can experience God’s presence when I walk and pray. I know some people have a prayer room or prayer closet that helps them to focus on God and prayer. Experiment – find a time, a place, or a physical activity to be in God’s presence through prayer.
By Grace Hunter