Prayer to the Self-Revealing God

by Dr Stephen Spence

  • First an overview of the doctrine of Revelation; then a prayer informed by the doctrine of God as Self-Revealer.

Humanity has made many great discoveries but God is not one of them. God is not an object (a “thing”) that we can stumble upon. Nor can God be deduced from what we see around us. Each supposed “sign” is too ambivalent to provide us with specific data. Each deduction is tainted by our self-interest and our fears. Every religious or theological claim about the gods, ancient and modern, has been a guess based upon a guess. Each claim leads not to the discovery of God but to the creation of idols.

God can only be known through revelation. It is only as God reveals himself that anything can be said about God – who he is or what he does. God is always the one who is active in revelation. Only God’s self-revelation can be a reliable basis for theology and religion. Faithful theology is always a response to God’s initiative of revelation. Yet our response to God’s revelation must be an engaged response for God reveals himself not as an object to be described but as a subject (a “person”) to be known.

The Self-Revealing God

Word of God; Light in Our Darkness.

Lost, uncertain, we stumble towards the sound of your call.

But distracted and disorientated by the Siren call of our personal dreams and desires, we again find ourselves lost.

Speak louder; shine brighter, we pray.

Our ears are blocked by our self-interest.

Our eyes are dimmed by our self-obsession.

Speak to us, Word of God, not from the general works of your hand but from the special words of your heart.

Shine for us, Light of the World, illuminating for us your face and not just your works.

Speak louder; shine brighter, we pray.

Our ears are blocked by our love of our comforts.

Our eyes are dimmed by our endless pursuit of self-gratification.

Speak clearly to us your name. Reveal to us your person.

Illuminate for us your Way. Speak to us your Truth. Grant us a share in your Life.

Then give to us the courage to see, to hear, and to be.

Speak to us in the words of Jesus, the Word.

Shine bright for us in the deeds of Jesus, Light of the World.

Call us to yourself in the challenge of Jesus, Lord of Life.