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The Volcano God and The Perfect Prayer, The Perfect Performance
Written by Former Pharisee   
Tuesday, 29 August 2006
Public prayer can be a real challange for many of us. We believe we have to pray perfectly before others. We are intimidated by the fact that our performance will be less then perfect. Oh God please do not let me stutter or be at a loss for words. Spare me of pregnant pauses. I just want to get it perfect. I want it to go without a hitch. I want everyone to see how wonderful I pray. Oh yea, and less I forget, I want you to hear it too Lord. I know you God, and you will not accept anything less than perfection!

In the back of our minds we can reduce our loving and amazing God to the level of a volcano god who is impossible to please. Only the best may approach, those less fortunate cannot serve. If they do they make us uneasy because they so often get it wrong. They forget their lines and miss their cues. They are too nervous to serve in the Holy of Holies, they stutter and they fumble. We can only let the perfect ones approach the alter. The others must stay sitting and and stay quiet while the super stars get the job done. Thank God for the super stars. The ones without any visible problems. The ones who never flinch. The ones that are so good and serve so smoothly. The super stars they do it all so seemless. Surely they are what the volcano god seeks to nourish his thirst for perfect praise.

LK 18:9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

LK 18:13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

LK 18:14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

We need more humble and nervous prayers. We need to hear from those who cannot even look up to heaven because of their humility before God.

JN 14:8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."

JN 14:9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

If we only see the consuming fire but fail to see the love and compassion of our Great and Awsome God. Then like Philp we need to see God through Jesus, our intecessor and our God, who came because we can't get it perfectly. We approach the throne with confidence only because of Jesus and not ourselves.

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