They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8 NRSV)
In this first post I shall be looking at what prayer was like before The Fall. This actually says a massive amount about what prayer is, and how a life a prayer is in fact just a life ‘walking’ with God. I shall be looking at the effects of The Fall in the next post.
God was accustomed to meet with Adam and Eve ‘at the time of the evening breeze’, which is the beginning of the Hebrew day. Christians in the West in particular seem to think that they have to spend time with God first thing in the morning. The times I prefer are either last thing at night or while my son is at school, if it is at night then I see it as for the next day. What time of day does God come to meet you? You need to learn his rhythm for your life as Adam and Eve had, then you will start to know him coming to meet you as you become more aware of his presence in your life.
God initiated the times when he would walk and talk with the people he had created. God’s ‘presence’ would come to the garden, and Adam and Eve would come to meet with him. It was not the other way around. In prayer it is never, ‘Thank you God for coming to join us’, but it is always, ‘Thank you God for waiting for us to join you’ as he is always there waiting for us.
Prayer is about ‘the presence of the LORD God’. If God is not present then we cannot converse with him, which in its simplest form is all prayer is. This is why being among believers praying is such a great witness to non-believers, there is a real sense of the presence of God in prayer, or at least there should be. This is what God intended from the beginning.
Prayer is being naked before God but not ashamed. God made us and he sees us as we are. Before The Fall Adam and Eve were happy for God to see them as they had been made, they had nothing to hide.
A life of prayer is a life ‘walking’ with God. It is not about one off occurrences, but about continual practices. It is about sharing the whole of our life with God, about exercising our authority while being under his authority, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden. It is about being mindful of him in all we do, and spending time specifically in his presence, not one or the other, but both at the same time.
I hope this has made you think how prayer is the simplest, most natural thing in the world for human being to do. It is, but The Fall changed all that as we shall see in the next post.