Friday, January 14: 1 Peter 1:8-9
Can prayer connect with a God I can’t see?
“and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
In a baby’s development, there is a concept called “object permanence.” The idea is this: at some point in their development, they start to understand when you hide an object under a blanket or behind you. The object hasn’t totally disappeared just because it is out-of-sight; it’s still there even though they can’t see it. Before a child develops “object permanence,” however, the child lives by the adage, “out of sight, out of mind.” They believe that once they can’t see an object anymore, it must really be gone.
Sometimes in our faith, we also struggle with “object permanence.” We get so wound up and confused by what we can’t physically see or explain in a few words that we just conclude it must not really be there. We sometimes feel like, because we can’t see God or feel His presence strongly in a moment, He must be far away. We allow what we see and how we feel inform our ideas of God instead of the other way around.
While we may not see God physically or may be struggle in a lull of faith where we can’t feel His presence, this does not mean He is far away or that He doesn’t hear our prayers. When we read the Word of God, we see what He desires of us in a tangible way. So much of His Word pushes us to pursue what we cannot see. Second Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Like a child learning object permanence as we grow in our faith, we begin to understand that God is there even when we can’t see Him or feel His presence. When we pray, we are speaking to a God who is present, who hears, and who has a plan that gives us inexpressible joy as we press on toward what we cannot see.
- Have you ever felt like God was far away? How did you respond in that moment?
- How can you fix your eyes on what is unseen today? In what ways would this shift in perspective change how you live?
- Pray and ask God to help you fix your eyes on Him, even though He is unseen.