Through August we looked at the book of Ruth in our short series “A Woman Who Met God”.
For centuries Christians have seen the relationship between Ruth and Boaz as a picture of the Christian’s relationship with Jesus Christ – our Kinsman-Redeemer. As we looked at Ruth’s encounters with Boaz, in the harvest field and at the threshing floor, we learnt some powerful lessons relevant to prayer.
In chapter 3 Ruth is pursuing Boaz to petition him to become her Guardian Redeemer. Ruth is going to make “a big ask” of Boaz. She is going to ask him to take Naomi and herself as his family, this means taking Ruth as his wife!
In order to make her bold request Ruth must find her way in to where Boaz is and lie at his feet in the secret place. She makes herself totally vulnerable as she seeks his grace and favour. She asks him to spread his garment over her – to take her as his own – it’s a powerful and intimate moment.
Although Ruth is bold in going to Boaz and making her request she knows she is on good ground. Legally, Boaz is her Kinsman-Redeemer and that means she has a legal right to petition him. Relationally, in the previous encounter in the harvest field (chapter 2) he showed great grace and acceptance to her. Boaz invited her to eat with him – he gave her permission, provision and protection. She has a confidence with regards to his attitude towards her!
All of this has much to say to us as we approach our prayer week. We are coming to our Kinsman-Redeemer. We are on good legal ground. Hebrews tells us we can have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus. We can come confidently to God and make our requests in the name of Jesus.
However, this is much more than a legal right. We know we come to God as beloved children, loved and accepted. We don’t merely have a right to come and ask Him, we have confidence we will find Him welcoming and loving. He has already demonstrated His love for us and assured us of His desire to bless us.
There is a tenderness and intimacy to Ruth’s encounters with Boaz. She is not merely asking for things, she wants to be his. He clearly loves her and wants her with him. We want our prayer meetings to be times of intimacy and encounter with our Redeemer – we are not merely asking for things. Our first meeting is on Sunday evening and will be “Gather” style. We want the whole church to come to worship, seek God’s face and hear from Him. This will be an opportunity to linger in His presence and be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading – don’t miss it!
Here is the programme for the Prayer & Vision Week:
Sunday 14 September. Gather. 7pm – 8.30pm MBC Worship & Hearing from God
Tuesday 16 September. 7am – 8am MBC Praying for the nations
Wednesday 17 September. 1pm – 2pm MBC. Praying for church ministries
Thursday 18 September. 7am – 8am MBC. Praying for Winchester
Thursday 18 September 7pm – 9pm MBC Youth praying for Winchester
Friday 19 September. 1pm – 2pm MBC. Praying for church ministries
Friday 19 September 5:45pm – 7pm MBC All age prayer for Winchester
Friday 19 September. 8pm – 12 midnight. Worship and praying for many aspects of our church life.