33. “YOUR EMPEROR, BUT MY FATHER!”

THE STORY is told of a Roman army that entered the Imperial City after a great victory on the frontier. Crowds lined the highways for miles. A rainbow of colors greeted the eye. Everyone was eager to catch a glimpse of the Emperor in his splendor. Suddenly a little boy broke through the ranks and ran toward the chariot of the Emperor. A soldier caught him. “You cannot do that,” he said. “He is the Emperor!”

Quickly the boy replied, “Your Emperor, but my father!’

“If you ask anything of the Father in my name,” Jesus said, “He will give it to you” (John 15:16). One commentator explained Jesus’ words like this: “The disciples are permitted to pray because Jesus tells them they may-and He knows the Father.”

The person who is in Christ (Galatians 3:26,27) can come with boldness-but not impudence — before the throne of Almighty God. The realization of the privilege of prayer should create great reverence whenever that privileged is exercised. God is now accessible. But He is still God. He is our loving and concerned Father. But He is not just another “buddy.”

Ralph Turnbull well remarked, “How much we need in modern life to pause in our feverish rush, to look afresh at the throne of God.” One great preacher of years past was asked about his practice of spending time in prayer at the beginning of each day. “You spend so much time praying,” someone remarked. “I have to,” was the answer. “I have too much to do today to begin it without the assistance of Almighty God.”

Read the fortieth chapter of Isaiah. Spend some time over Revelation chapter four. Then approach God in prayer. We know somebody who sits at the right hand of the Throne of the Universe. Let’s talk to God more. In Christ we have an open invitation.