Near and Far

The movement from “far” to “near,” which is the whole business of prayer, is a great deal more than a mere psychological experience. It has to do, rather, with the mystery of redemption: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13). It is not a matter here of our “feeling far off.” Our feelings on the point are futile and unreliable. It is not a feeling but a fact that without Christ, we are far off, and the anxiety of heart, mentioned here as characteristic of our being far off from God, is well-founded: “At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). …

Our true hope is founded, then, not in the native aspirations of the human spirit but in the redemption wrought by the God to whom we say in our psalm [61]: “For You have become my hope.” Our Christian hope is described as “a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Heb. 7:19), and of the man who has this hope our psalm [61] says: “He will live forever in the presence of God.”

— Patrick Henry Reardon, Christ in the Psalms, 119-120.

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