Prayer to get closer to Jesus. On my dresser I keep two photos. One is of my deceased friend, Bob. Interestingly, the photo was taken while we were walking a beach on a windy day. I look at it more often than I would have thought because I am not, by nature, the slightest bit sentimental. He was perhaps my closest friend ever, and it is comforting to look at him when he was so full of life, to remember how incredibly smart he was, to know how much he cared for me and how deeply I cared for him, as well. His photo also reminds me to live my life to the fullest each day because we don’t all get to grow old.
The other is of Jesus who is the most patient and caring my friend. I often say prayer to get closer to Jesus and talk with him in such a way.
Everyone knows that men tend to have buddies rather than friends — golfing buddies, drinking buddies, sports buddies. But occasionally, even men have close friends. I may have done better than many, but even if that is true, I can count fewer than half a dozen in that closest ring of friendship. In contrast, I suspect many a woman would have a dozen or more.
As that proverb says, some people pretend to be friends for a while. They put on the correct behavior until they get what they need, and then they are on their way. Some people just act like friends for a while, and then they go away.
A true friend is someone who can celebrate with us when we are at our very best and who accept us when we are at our very worst — and still loves us. We don’t hide things from our closest friends. It is always a both-and, isn’t it, a friend both knows us and care for us.
Friendship with Christ
I’ve always thought it significant that Jesus said, “I do not call you servants any longer…, but I have called you friends….” (John 15:15) And the reason for this shift in image from “master” and “servant” to the image of “friendship” is because Jesus held nothing back. Everything Jesus knew he told his disciples. There were no secrets, no self-protecting, no pretending. Jesus knew them all fully, and he still loved them and vice versa.
I can remember a particular time when Christ as a friend became real to me. I believe it was during a guided meditation, a form of prayer. We were encouraged to envision our interior as a house with many rooms. For whatever reason, I wanted to find the deepest room, the holy place, the furnace room from which the energy of life flowed.
I imagined a dark room with a ceiling so tall I could not see it, nor could I see the walls — it was cavern-like, a natural kind of place deep in my soul. I recall that a stream of water flowed through the middle of this room. On the floor, not far from the stream, sat a small man with a black beard and black eyes. He was ageless — that is to say he was ancient but without age.
Somehow I knew this ancient, ageless man was Jesus, and I knew that he knew everything there was to know about me, and I knew that he was not about to go away, and that I could come to that room and sit by the fire with him anytime, and he would not send me away.
Interestingly, this ancient, ageless Jesus never spoke a word. No words were needed to communicate in that place. The truth was simply known. I brought my inadequacies to him. And, without words, he nodded in agreement that I had been inadequate, but he loved me nonetheless. I brought my worries to him. He understood, he cared, he communicated strength without words. I brought my celebrations to him. He was happy, not surprised, just happy with me being happy.
Jesus knew me, this Christ-in-my-soul, this ancient-ageless one, this source-of-my-life. He was, in a word, my friend. While only truth came from him, it came without condemnation. Just truth and loving kindness.
Why we Need to Get Closer to Jesus?
I haven’t thought about that prayer image for a long time, so it was refreshing to spend some time with it again, to feel the Christ-presence deep within.
The energy of friendship always flows both ways. I never thought about this before, but if Christ is our friend, the energy of friendship flows toward Christ as well as flowing toward us. Christ benefits as well as we do.
And not only this, the power of friendship is such that we are enabled to go and befriend others in the world. And in the loving-kindness of that friendship, we are able to introduce others to the same saving power we have found in Christ.
Jesus so loved the truth, he was so committed to the way that leads to life, that he absolutely refused to turn aside from the pathway that led to the cross. And God, looking down, simply would not let the work of human sin have the last word, and God raised Christ from the grave. Is not the depth of Christ’s loving friendship what we celebrate today with the bread and the cup? Christ came not to condemn, but to give us life! So talk to him, show him your love and say prayer to get closer to Jesus.
Christ in us. God in Christ. God and us intertwined communicating the truth without judgment, acknowledging our sin and healing our wounds, empowering us to go forth and do likewise. Let’s say prayer to get closer to Jesus.
Prayer to Get Closer to Jesus
Lord Jesus I long for Your closeness every moment of my life. Jesus, I want to know You better. Lord, I want to know You personally and intimately and to be identified with You in every area of my life. Help me day by day to grow in grace and in a knowledge of You. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior. Amen.