My kids know that when they have friends over to play, they can have the run of the house except for Mommy and Daddy’s room. I shut the door of our bedroom so that I don’t have to clean piles of clothes or books ahead of a playdate. I also want to avoid stray Nerf bullets and random toys that would otherwise find their way in there.
Most of the time, it’s just the four of us at home and our bedroom door is left open. My boys know they can walk in to show me something they made, or to ask about dinner. They also know that they can come to us in the middle of the night if they are feeling sick or if they have a bad dream. We would never think to shoo them out instead of tending to their needs.
This kind of round-the-clock access is typical in loving families, and it reminds me of the kind of relationship God wants with us. A rich prayer life will have us busting open the door of God’s throne room at all hours of the day and night. Sometimes we are offering up one-word prayers of thanks or help. At times we are sharing long, honest monologues fraught with emotion. Other times, we are just hoping to be held in solitude as we are still, and listen.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus is our high priest and he is intimately aware and sympathetic to all of our weaknesses:
“Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)
Because of Jesus, we have unfettered access to God, who is generous with mercy and grace. Not only do we have this access, God invites us into God’s presence always—Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians, tells us to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess. 5:17) My patience with my own children will only go so far; sometimes I am tired or exasperated in the face of their constant needs. But God, our heavenly parent, welcomes a constant connection with us in prayer.
What is on your heart and mind today? God’s door is always open!
Sarah Butterfield, www.sarahkbutterfield.com