Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Prayer and worship unites believers with God

<d loves us. That statement is at the core of the Christian Faith, affirming that the God we believe in has an unquenchable love for each person in the world. Now, if you were a God who, by nature, loved people, wouldn’t you want to be able to talk with them? What’s the sense in loving somebody if you can only look at them from a distance, but have no idea what’s going on in their hearts, and have no way to communicate with them? God created humans to crave intimacy and love in our relationships because he desires a deeply intimate spiritual relationship with each of his dearly beloved children. Dialogue is vital to maintaining and growing any relationship. God gives us the gift of prayer so that He may know our hearts, and that we may know His. This perfectly symmetrical alignment of hearts allows for the most effective heart-to-heart conversation with God.

God presents prayer as an open invitation for us to commune with him: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). We are given the direct agency by God to open that door through prayer. Prayer is the way that God works on earth because it is God’s desire to operate in and through us. A praying person is a window through which God’s grace and provision enters the earth. He desires to involve us in His plans, through prayer, so that we may participate with Him in bringing about His purposes in our lives and the world. As Christians, we know that God is love, peace, power, justice, and compassion, but it is not until we speak His will that His will is done. God desires for the world to be whole, to be perfect, but He is not going to impose that on the human race; when He created us, He gave us the choice. Prayer is not an obligation. When we pray, we are agreeing with God’s heart and asking Him to do specific things. More importantly, He wants us to ask Him for His will.

The Bible is full of accounts describing the miraculous power of prayer. Through prayer, ordinary human beings overcame enemies, raised the dead, and healed the sick. Prayer also changed hearts and healed emotional wounds. Yet, neither God’s power, nor God Himself, should be limited to the Bible or to the distant past; He is a living God who has not changed through the ages. He still uses us, ordinary human beings, to work the very same way that He did back then because, through prayer, we have access to His power, glory, love, compassion, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Through prayer, we have direct access to Him.

Prayer also establishes unity in spirit with all those on earth who believe in Him. Because God created us as relational beings made to seek fellowship, He honors prayer lifted in unity “with one heart and mouth to glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6). As believers come together and lift God up for who He is and what He desires to do, God hears and responds. Jesus also spoke a word of promise in attesting to the power of group prayer: “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19-20). We desire to pray into this promise. In prayer, we want to partner with God in fulfilling His purpose for the Carleton campus, the greater Northfield community, and the world.

In the coming week, you may notice a big tent pitched on the west lawn of the chapel. Not so incidentally, this is the site of Unity Week, hosted by the Carleton Christian Community, as an opportunity to fellowship with Christians both on campus and in the greater Northfield community through united prayer and worship. The theme for this week is “On Earth as it is in Heaven,” which comes from a line in the Lord’s Prayer from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” This line asks for God’s complete peace and joy to reign over the Earth, which can be accomplished if people ask Him for these things. The Bible also says this about prayer: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6). So that’s what we’re going to do. The tent will be open 24 hours a day, all week, and we would like to invite each of you to come join us sometime, whether God is a friend or a stranger to you. Got prayer? Need a Listener? Come in the tent. God wants to talk with you.

-Kristen Miller is a fourth-year student and Esther Pak is a third-year student

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *