When you pray, do you envision God as being way up in heaven looking down from his throne hearing your request from afar? I used to. And when I’m not focused, I still might. But when my heart is in step with the Spirit, and when my walk is strong with the Lord, I understand that when I pray to God he isn’t far, but very near. You may have experienced the presence of the Lord yourself when you’ve prayed; the feeling that God is physically with you right then and there. But even when you don’t feel him, have faith to believe that he is close. He was close to the Israelites when they prayed, and he is close to us as well. Moses said in Deuteronomy 4 verse 7:
“What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?”
I believe that God wants to be close to us. The Bible tells us that the Lord wanted to be close to the Israelites. That is why the tabernacle and the temple were built, so that he could be physically close to them. In Genesis, God was close to his creation, speaking directly to Adam. And even now, God wants to be close to us. Moses says that God is near us whenever we pray to him. Do you believe that? In the midst of your pain and sorrow, when you cry out to him, I encourage you to know that God is not far off, but he is very near. And even when you pray to him casually, I believe that God is still very near. So when you talk to God, don’t think of him as being on a phone listening to you from somewhere else. Think of it as if you are visiting him; that when you pray to him, he is in the same room with you. Because as Moses shares in Deuteronomy, God is near us whenever we pray to him.
The Bible reminds us that where two or three are gathered together in his name, God is right there in the midst of them. And Moses encourages us that when we pray to God, he is near to us. He could’ve been referring to the tabernacle, where the ark of the covenant and the physical presence of the Lord resided; that when the Israelites prayed, the ark of the covenant was close by. But I think he was explaining that any of us; past, present and future; no matter where you are, or what time of day it is, that God is near you when you pray. Whether God is near or far may not matter to some. But I find it very comforting to know that God is near, and so did Moses.