As a part of our 5 Habits study and looking into the life of Ruth, we paused to take a deeper look at prayer.
I have loved how this study has taken a deeper look at the character traits of Ruth and the ways she demonstrated perseverance, amidst hard situations like death, feeling like the outsider, basically living in poverty. I always grew up considering the book of Ruth just to be a love story but it's so much more.
But, since we probably do all know about the romance that played out in this book of the bible, between Ruth and Boaz, let's take a quick look at a verse in Ruth 3, verse 9. Right up until this point, with the encouragement of her mother-in-law Naomi Ruth has snuck into the home of Boaz, the owner of the field's she works at so....her boss basically. She's laying at his feet when he wakes up and talks to her.
The language seems odd to us there but Ruth basically just proposed to Boaz, inviting him to take her in as his wife. To say, "Spread your wings over your servant" seems a little cheese-ball-ish to us these days but it had beautiful significance that paralleled their understanding of the presence of God in their lives at that time. The Ten Commandments that were given to Moses were kept in a box called the Ark of the Covenant and the top of this box was referred to as the atonement cover. This atonement cover was where the presence of God dwelt in the tabernacle. On top of the cover was a set cherubim angels, their wings covering the very power and presence of God.
Not only did the ark contain the rules for following God, but to enter the temple and move throughout it required a whole different set of cleansing rituals, offerings and at the very end of it all, still only a select chosen few were allowed to enter the Holy of Holies.
You can read more about this the temple and the ark of the covenant in Chapter 6 of Nicki's book where she reminds us that, "Through Jesus, God invites all of us to live under this same type of covering in our everyday, modern lives. You can experience the presence and power of God in the carpool line with screaming kids, at the gym, with your husband, and at your job." Now, that is good news that I so often forget!
And just how do we live with God's cover over all the different aspects of our lives? A clever way to remember is to look at the word cover. C-0-V-E-R. C- OVER. See over. All we have to do is ask God to see over the different areas in our lives, the good, the bad, the ugly, the awesome!
Prayer is our conversations with God, those invitations to Him to be a part of it all, to see over it. It's expressing our desire to know what He wants from us, how he's leading us. It's telling him about how we want and need to understand His grace more and how it's at work in our lives. It's us sometimes pleading, crying out when words can't express our sorrow. And just like a friend, with even more love than we've ever experienced on earth, He hears, understands, comforts, loves, offers grace, forgiveness, guidance, and is always with us.
Head over to Part 2 of this conversation, where you can download a resource just for you, to help you in your prayer times!
Love, Britt & The Heartbeat Team