This morning, I was reading in Genesis 28 and noticed a phrase that changed the way I view prayer and the pursuit of God’s presence. This chapter describes Jacob’s dream of a ladder to Heaven. Through this dream He sees angels ascending and descending from Heaven. Then God speaks to Jacob. God declares to Jacob who He is, the God of Jacob’s father. Then God begins to give Jacob a few promises: 1.) I am with you. 2.) I will keep you wherever you go. 3.)I will bring you back to this land. 4.) I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you. What incredible promises for Jacob and all of God’s people!
When Jacob wakes up, he awakens with a reverential fear of who God is. He proclaims, “Surely God is in this place.” Verse 17 records, “And Jacob was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of Heaven!” I like the emphatic use of the exclamation point in this text. It is as if Jacob is saying with a passionate cry, “how awesome is this place, this is the gate to Heaven!”
Jacob is alerted to the power of a relationship with God. This was not in a church, Jacob was on a journey. He experienced God’s presence and power “between Sundays” yet he said this is the House of God. He was not in a tabernacle but in a wilderness. May I remind you that the Bible says that God dwells in temples not made with hands. This means God dwells wherever we are. We can pursue Him and find Him in church, at home, in the marketplace or wherever we call on His name. This is the beauty of prayer. We can experience Him anywhere!
The statement that attracted my attention was when Jacob said, “this is the gate to Heaven!” Prayer is the entrance to Heaven’s riches, glory and power. When we spend time with Jesus, we are accessing the unlimited treasures of Heaven. Prayer is the gateway to God’s presence.
We have the privilege to access Heaven through prayer. Though we can only have a glimpse of what Heaven is, we can touch the throne of God and receive mercy and help in our time of need. We can talk to God, who is on the throne. We can experience His presence. I challenge you to spend time in prayer! It is the gate to Heaven!