Beginning to pray
“Prayer is obviously a relationship, an encounter a way in which we have a relationship with the living God,” says Metropolitan ANTHONY Bloom.
The 5th and final chapter of his classic, “Beginning to Pray” is titled Addressing God. How we address God reveals the nature of our relationship with God and may determine the warmth and depth of relationship as well. We can understand more clearly the scandal of Jesus’ revelation that the Almighty God of the Universe is to be addressed the way little children address their dads by calling Him Abba. This previously unheard of intimacy with God can be as difficult for us today as it was for the publicans and pharisees we read about on the pages of the New Testament. But, Met. ANTHONY says there is no prayer as long as there is ceremony between us and God, as long as we cannot speak to Him. This, of course, is all the more interesting given that Metropolitan ANTHONY was an Archbishop in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He goes on to say that as long as we only call God by terms like, “The Almighty,” we will remain at a distance from Him.
The Psalmist had no problem moving from restrained forms of address to bursting out with, “You, my Joy!” We must also address the Lord with personal, relational names. We must draw near to Him and He will draw near to us.