Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.
New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ec 5:1-3). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
We Christians hold to the belief that, through the blood of Jesus, we are brought into a new relationship with God. He becomes our Father, and we His sons and daughters. Jesus enables us to come into the very presense of God, to relate to Him with a level of depth and intimacy that didn’t exist before the coming of Christ.
This is the essence of the gospel, the source of our joy, the cause of our thanksgiving, the fire in our worship. That we are children ofthe One True God is an honor and a gift beyond measure.
Yet I have seen in myself a tendency to take this wonderful, awesome truth for granted, to feel a bit too comfortable in His presence, and to pray with the “voice of the fool”.
How often have my times of prayer been brief interruptions to an otherwise prayerless day? How many times have I prayed thoughtlessly, formulaically, hurriedly? How many times have I done all the talking and none of the listening?
I have to come to believe that prayer of this kind is the “sacrifice of fools”. It is an affront to God, a case of the creature treating the Creator like something to be used, not Someone to worship.
I confess that I have used my knowledge of my own sonship as the license to treat God as something less than God.
I speak this to my soul:
“Read this passage in Ecclesiastes again and again. Absorb the reverence and fear. Our God is still in heaven, and you are still on the earth. The cross of Christ did nothing to change it. Pray with few words and much listening”
- February 8, 2004