Maybe I Should Talk Face-to-Face With God?

GodReflection: God Breaks In Monday

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed – John 17:1

garyguarujaMy favorite depiction of prayer comes from Glory the 1989 film. It is a re-telling of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry the Union’s first African-America regiment to enter combat in the Civil War.

prayer9The story is based partially on letters written by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. He volunteered to be the white commanding officer of the black 54th in exchange for a promotion to the rank of Colonel.

In my view the climaxing scene was a prayer meeting around the campfire. The dark skin soldiers prior to their leading the early morning attack on Fort Wagner gathered to worship.

They all knew their mission to plant the Union Flag in Charleston Harbor would fail. But they must try. It was a mission of freedom. By the end of the attack they would be buried in defeat in a mass grave.

So they sang hymns and praise God around the camp fire.

prayer11Periodically, the music would drop off and a soldier would step forward with eyes raised toward the heavens as he address God face-to-face for all to hear while fellow soldiers voiced their approval.

Here is what I think.

That seems to me to come nearer to the picture of prayer in Scripture than my silent head bowed posture with closed eyes and wondering thought patterns.

I think of Abraham, Jacob, and Moses talking to God and hearing his response. It is no wonder that Moses’ face glowed from a direct conversation with Holy God.

Prayer runs as a common thread through all four Gospel.


At the Transfiguration Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. Luke records the story in these worlds: As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.

I picture the Master Teacher talking face to face with God. The result: he ignited in light. 

John tells us that Jesus in preparation for his crucifixion looks skyward and prays: After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. . .”

Here is what I wonder.

Is it possible when the Gospels tell us over and over again that Jesus woke up early and went into lonely places to pray, he did so in order not to awaken everyone as he conversed with the Father?

Did he go into lonely places where he could speak aloud to God as the birds chirped in approval?

At Jesus baptism he was praying.  And, as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased”.

prayer5I wonder if Jesus spoke aloud to God—as he look  upward toward Him—and in response the heavens opened with God’s face connecting to the face of the Son in audible reply?

One other occasion catches my attention. It is a sweet scene from the Gospel of Matthew: Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.

Since Jesus mission was to make God known, I can’t help but envision the Lord with a child in his lap as he looks up to the father and prays aloud a prayer that a child would never forget.

Here’s my point.

Would I not find a more vibrate relationship with God if my dominant mode of prayer with the Father was face-to-face, vocal communication?

As if looking into His eyes—I would speak in conversational mode.

Would my mind have less chance of wondering off to chase rabbits, only to pop in and out of the visit with Holy God as I remind myself, “Oh I forgot, I’m supposed to be in prayer?

If I open my eyes and look upward—God  just might break into my prayer life.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on God Breaks Into Prayer.




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