Believers sometimes wonder about or even wish for, I think, a more palpable sense of God’s presence in prayer. In seasons where his presence is one of joy and beneficence, it is certainly a delight to my soul. But there are many seasons – many more, I must confess – where I am well aware of my sins and my sinful estate. Then a more palpable sense of God’s presence – even the anticipation of his presence, like a disobedient and guilty child going before his father to confess all – can make going before him in prayer almost unbearable.
As it is – and why this came to mind before prayer today – is that today is one of those seasons where I am aware of my sin and feel uncomfortable to approach him. God is holy and I am wicked, utterly unworthy in and of myself even to bow before him in prayer. Nevertheless he is also merciful and forgiving – and in the end there is no other place for the guilty soul to go for forgiveness and relief.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)