In the novel, The Gift, Pete Hamill ends the story by saying, “I hadn’t received much for Christmas in any ordinary way; but my father loved me back, and there was no other gift I wanted.”
For the first time that December, the son on leave from boot-camp, risked entering his father’s sanctuary (a bar). As it turned out they fought together defending the honor of a lady. Partnership, respect and pride passed between them.
It’s the very thing that happens when we pray!
In Romans 8, Paul tells us that the Spirit ‘helps our weakness,’ literally meaning that He picks up the other end of an object we can’t carry ourselves. When we approach prayer correctly, we are partnering with His Spirit, interceding in the will of God. Prayer brings the child and the Father together, to fight the imps whose foul words and disrespect need to be put in place. Together, Father and child, we stand back to back, fighting for the dignity and destiny of loved ones, or perfect strangers.
When we step into our shoes in the morning and breathe prayer, we are back to back with our Father, fighting for those we love who have need of all things only God can give.
When we share your faith, in an unexpected divine collision with someone, we’re standing over the enemy after a knock out punch, looking into our Father’s knowing eyes. Those are the moments His love comes back!
It’s the joy we sense in abandoning our will to Him in worship, holding out our heart as though it’s all we can give, and feeling as though God is saying…
“I love you, not your worship.
I love you, not your service.
I love you, the person I created, and the person I redeemed.
We are standing together you and I, back to back, and the fight is the thing. Obey me, and you’ll feel the pleasure of my presence, and especially know how proud I am of you. You will know my love, when you risk my sanctuary.”
To know God is to know love. Enter His sanctuary and the Spirit will help us see the Father’s face, full of joy and full of pride. At that moment He sees His own reflection in the fierce loyalty and holy longings of our heart. There’s nothing better in heaven or earth than fighting the good fight with God, sensing His love coming back, not because we can throw a punch, but because we carry His name.