Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- Hebrews 4:16
Occasionally, I’ve been mistaken for a priest. Especially at weddings or funerals, attendees sometimes refer to me as “Father Kevin” or simply “Father.”
One time, during a wedding reception, it happened. A gentleman approached and rather sheepishly told me that his car wouldn’t start. Although I privately wondered what might motivate him to confess this problem to me in particular, I assured him that I had jumper cables in my car and that I’d be happy to help. That’s when things took a mystical turn.
Before I could even get stand up from my seat, the man stopped me and said, “We already tried that.” And then, with a very somber and earnest face, he continued.
“Father, I was wondering if you could use your….your powers.”
My powers! Seeing my rather incredulous look, the man explained that because I was a priest (I’m not), I must also have special priestly powers (I don’t). He thought that I could even make a dead car battery alive!
Gently, I told him that I didn’t have special powers. What I did have was the ability to pray for him and, depending on how the Lord wanted to answer, a then-current membership in the American Automobile Association (AAA).
We went outside and prayed together. And, wouldn’t you know it, the car started! I couldn’t believe it. Maybe I do have powers after all?!
Nope. I don’t have special powers. However, there is One who is all-powerful, and he listens to the prayers of all his children - not just members of the clergy. In fact, the Bible tells us that all of God’s children are part of his “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9) The writer of Hebrews invites all of God’s children to draw near to their Father’s throne of grace with confidence, expecting to receive mercy and grace in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Of course, this doesn’t mean we should cancel our membership in AAA. God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the ways that we, in our limited understanding, would like. Even Jesus submitted to the Father’s will in prayer (Luke 22:42). However, it does mean that God is never indifferent toward our prayers. He always listens, and always answers according to his good and perfect will. One of my favorite preachers, Tim Keller, says it this way, "If we knew what God knows, we would ask exactly for what he gives.” That’s a hard truth, but it is truth.
Child of God: In Christ, you have immediate and intimate access to the throne room of God. A friend of mine says it this way, "His throne room is now your living room.” Enter through prayer. Share openly. Your Father loves hearing your voice, and is eager to give you the mercy and grace you need for today. Confess your need; He is more than able and willing to meet it.
You’re loved. Don’t forget it.