“A glorious throne on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary” (Jer. 17:12, NASB).
What a key verse this is for understanding prayer! When we pray, we move “into the sanctuary of God” (Ps. 73:17). He is our sanctuary. He is our strong tower. He is our safe place. He is the refuge for our hearts.
However, we can’t stop there. Not only is He our refuge; we also must grasp the vitally important position of this sanctuary for our hearts. Our strong tower is “on high.” Above all else! The name we run into is the name above every name. The Father who shelters us is not only kind and gentle, but He is unquestionably supreme. He has been seated upon His glorious throne on high from the beginning. His imminence has been unshakable from eternity past through all of unending eternity to come.
You and I are seated with Him there (Eph. 2:6). His victory is ours. His authority, He has delegated to us. This is the place from which we pray.
This understanding is inextricably interconnected with the “fear of the Lord.” Have you wondered to yourself what exactly that phrase means? Let me tell you, it does not mean a sense of dread regarding Him. It does not mean a constant apprehension that He is getting ready to punish you for your imperfections. His perfect love will drive out that kind of false fear of Him as you really get to know His beautiful heart. What the expression does mean, though, is that our hearts bow down in absolute awe of who He is. It means that the unrivaled brilliance of His exalted glory has conquered our hearts.
It means that we are incomparably more impressed with His nature, His loveliness, and His power than we are with what the enemy is doing. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, on His glorious throne on high, everything else fades away. This is how we are to pray: with our hearts’ eyes focused on Him. He intends our prayers to flow out of hearts that are beholding Him.
I am not going to pretend to claim that it is always easy to move into this place of focus on Him. There are many days here on Planet Earth that the opposite is true. The heaviness of what is happening around us often pulls on the attention of our hearts. What I am saying is this: let this be our aim. Let this be our goal.
Every day as we intentionally set aside time to move our focus onto God, we will grow further and further in this direction. Gradually, ever so gradually, the revelation of His glorious throne will invade the inside of us. More and more and more, our hearts’ inner view will be taken over by the realities of Heaven.
“All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him” (2 Cor. 3:18, MSG).
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18, ESV).
When you pray, do you focus on God’s presence with you, and His attention on you?