Pleasant Company

May 09, 2003 12:37 PM EDT

Matthew 6:5-8 (NRSV)

"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

Jesus said, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

- Matthew 6:8 (NRSV)

WHEN the weather is pleasant, neighbors gather in our driveway almost every evening to relax and visit. In the cool of the evening, conversation is lively, fellowship is warm, and friendship is genuine.

Several years have elapsed since these unplanned gatherings began. During that time, as I have reflected on their significance, I do not recall a single time when even one of our neighbors came asking for something. On every occasion, they came solely for the pleasure of being together.

As this thought crystallized in my mind, I began to think seriously about prayer. Prayer, too, should be a part of our daily lives. But sometimes meaningful prayer is not so much asking for something for others or for ourselves as it is simply being with God. It is sharing in a most intimate and personal way our innermost thoughts and deepest feelings with the One who "knows what [we] need before [we] ask." Prayer is enjoying God's presence.

Prayer: Thank you, our Father, that we can go into our room, shut the door, and bare our souls to you and enjoy communion with you. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.


God longs for the pleasure of our company.


For patience to wait in God's presence

By Howard Coop, Kentucky