In 1936 a sixth grade girl, Phyllis, wrote to Albert Einstein asking, “Do scientists pray?” He expressed his doubts about prayer influencing the course of events but admitted, “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man.” Another time he said, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” Einstein was referring to the basis of science, that the universe is predictable and discoverable. His admission was that the universe could not have made itself so.
Science keeps offering new and convincing evidence that God exists. Einstein’s “comprehensible universe” and “manifest spirit” hint at the inevitable reason why. “Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20). Creation points to its Creator, which inspires you to pray to Him who made you. Jesus said we can address Him this way: “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Of all the ways to think of God, Jesus wants you to relate to Him as a holy, yet approachable Father.
Do you pray even when you feel less than holy? Must you become a little more saintly before praying? The startling truth is that we can “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). By faith you can receive the forgiveness that makes you worthy of approaching a holy God. Jesus said to pray, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Be a forgiver even as you pray to the Forgiver.
Do you pray about the messed up world we live in? Dishonest politicians, gun violence, and terrorism are the drumbeat of bad news. Health, finances, and relationships are the stressors in your personal life. Jesus had something for these, too. When you pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” you invite God’s rule in the world and trust His plans for your life.
Do you pray when you realize you are not in control? To pray “give us this day our daily bread” and “deliver us from evil” is to acknowledge that God provides and protects in ways you cannot.
Jesus’ model prayer (Matt. 6) is an invitation. Meditate on it and let it animate your prayer life. My prayer for you is that “the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thes. 1:12).