Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 10:19-22 is similar. There the writer says Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
In Hebrews 7:19 we have the phrase a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God and 7:25 talks about those who come or draw near to God through him (Christ) and 10:1 those who draw near to worship.
In James 4:8 there is a well known verse that says Come or draw near to God and he will draw come near to you.
Here is a way of speaking about prayer then – coming or drawing near to God.
1. Prayer involves movement or change
The very fact that prayer is spoken of as coming to or drawing near shows that we cannot pray simply by staying as we are. There must be a movement, a change, a drawing near to God. We need to move from where we are. We need to stir ourselves up to action. This movement is clearly a spiritual movement or change nor a physical one.
2. We are responsible to move
In all the references it is clear that we are responsible to move towards God not just him to us. Now James does say Come or draw near to God and he will draw come near to you. That is there to encourage us. Only a little effort is needed and God will do the rest. We must bear our responsibilities, nevertheless.
3. Our prayers must centre on God
Perhaps this is too obvious to need saying but we need to draw near to God. God must be the object of our prayers. We must focus on him. We must seek his face. To set our minds anywhere else is to fail to pray.
Let's draw near to God.