“Prayer is not a hard requirement – it is the natural duty of a creature to its creator, the simplest homage that human need can pay to divine liberality.”-Charles Spurgeon
Reading the Bible is something that we are encouraged to do and for many of us, the encouragement begins at a young age. Unfortunately, for just as many, the encouragement is not taken seriously until we are older and I am a part of this category. Looking back, I remember my grandmother taking me to church and my parents talking about the Bible but I never took any of this seriously until much later.
In fact, for a few years, my brother and I were homeschooled through a Christian institution but like a young kid, not yet a teenager, I did not take the education seriously. For me, at this point in time, I was doing what I had to do but this was a big mistake and I wish I had taken the opportunities presented to a younger me more seriously because the education was much better than any public education that I received at any point in my life.
There are many points in my life in which I did not see the bigger picture and because of my lack of vision and/or understanding, I missed out on a lot. From my personal experiences and observations of others, this is exactly what many of us do with the Bible and our relationship with God. That is, because we do not see the bigger picture, we do not read the Bible as we should or we do not nurture our relationship with God until a crisis happens.
As I look at the majority of the secular world, I understand by their reasoning and beliefs that they too miss the bigger picture when it comes to the Bible, praying, and just God in general. Maybe this is to be expected from those who do not have any knowledge of God or a relationship with God but there is a large portion of the Christian community that miss the bigger picture when it comes to the Bible, praying, and/or God himself.
“The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people.”-A.W. Tozer
Sadly, at least from a Christin perspective, I believe much of this is a result of complacency as we become comfortable in our surroundings or situations. However, regardless of where we are in life, our social status, or any other aspect associated with the secular world, we read the Bible to learn about the creator of the universe, God, not because we have a test at the end of the day. The Bible connects us with where we came from and by connecting with where we came from, we are able to understand ourselves better.
Furthermore, we pray because prayer connects us with God as communication is key in any relationship. It does not matter the type of relationship you are in, for it to be successful, there must be an efficient amount of communication. The more serious the relationship, the more communication is involved and I have learned this the hard way. One of the most important lessons that I have learned in communicating with God is when we are done talking, we must listen as talking with God is a two way street just like it is with any person: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” (James 1:19).
As a Christian, the more we grow in Christ, the more natural certain things become but being a Christian does not mean that the anxieties and other features of this world will not creep up. In fact, chances are, they are even more of a burden to Christians because Satan works overtime on those that are working hard for God which is one more reason why we are to focus on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is Jesus Christ himself, God almighty, who is always there regardless of what life is like and God must be our number one priority in life despite what we have, or lack, here on Earth: “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position” (John C. Maxwell).