Another beautiful nugget from Bonhoeffer…
As I learn his voice, Bonhoeffer’s writings speak from a time where a clear divide existed between right and wrong. Hence, he tends to speak about proper ways to approach God and the spiritual disciplines. This, of course, implies that improper ways continue. In this entry, he begins with the powerful idea that God’s knowledge of our needs before we ask for them gives our prayer “the greatest confidence and a happy certainty” (p. 50). He says that the proper prayer is “the petition of a child to the heart of the Father” (p. 50). Prayer is more than action, exercise or attitude.
Then, he brings it!
If God did not know what I need, then I would have to reflect on what I say to God, how I say it to him, and whether I say it to him. Thus faith excludes from what I pray any reflection and any demonstration. (p. 50, emphasis added)
Take a minute and read that again, please.
God knowing all about us helps us to approach Him without a filter! Isn’t that wonderful? In humility we come before our great and awesome God, and we open ourselves up to Him for release and impartation…all because we know that HE KNOWS! In His presence we can let the dam break because He can handle it. He is stronger and greater and more marvelous than any other. He is our rock.
There are people in my life who need my filter. I cannot share my thoughts with them openly. I think carefully about what I say to them, how I say it, and whether I should say it. I consider their feelings, their frame of mind, and attempt to anticipate their perspective if I say what I want to say. And in some relationships this is good stewardship.
Other people in my life require my boldness and risk to share without the filter. (That’s another entry for another day, though!)
But our God, He knows us intimately, deeply…the way we want people to know and understand us. Because God knows us this way, we need not fear conversation with Him. We need not fear exposure or censure or torment or mocking. We need only prepare to hear and do, whatever He says, because He knows. Regardless of how hard His instruction seems to follow, we must obey in return for His absolute knowledge of us and His unwavering care to make obedience’s rewards real in our lives.
He good, yeah?! Yes He is. Selah, and love to all!