June 10

…pray to your Father… Matthew 6:6

We have free access through grace.  Jesus is so simple in the way He describes the wonder of prayer.  Although the word ‘justification’ is absent from the Gospels, yet our Justifier is always present.  The cross was still in the future, but God anticipated the justification of sinners even in the Old Testament, and Christ justified sinners in the way He treated them and still treats them.  He speaks to sinners in a way that invites them simply to come.  We are not justified by a doctrine – we are saved by faith in the justifying welcome of a Person!  God in Christ welcomes us into the holiest of all – Hebrews 10:19.  Christ teaches this same thing here – that we are simply to come to God in prayer, and He will receive us.  This truth can baffle a new believer and return to puzzle the oldest saint.  We are prone to believe that we must earn God’s acceptance.  So people who feel they have failed God in some way may simply stop praying because they feel unworthy.  On the other hand, some mature Christians pray with pride in their spiritual stature!  They will recount the hours they spend in prayer, as if it is through their efforts that people are being saved and healed.  The truth is that we can never earn acceptance with God – we are unworthy ever to approach Him.  But God is full of grace and mercy, and invites us to approach; and it is by this grace alone that we are made BOLD to approach His holy throne.  It is by His grace that we have answers to prayer.  God will simply grant our request, whether we are able to spend hours praying or just minutes!