I rarely refer to prayer by that name. I usually say I’m talking to God. Mainly because that’s what prayer is: communicating with God. But I also use the phrase ‘talking to God” because I am extremely conversational in my prayer most of the time.
If I’m angry, He knows I’m angry. If I’m anxious, or worried, He knows that, too.
And the thing is, God knows my feelings whether I tell Him or not, whether I’m talking to Him or not. So I figure I may as well be honest!
I could try to be pious or reverent or whatever, but it’s not like I can fool the Creator of the Universe and the One who knows our hearts. I may even fool myself sometimes, but I will never be able to hide my true emotions from the Lord. So why try?
There are times when it would be impossible to hide them anyway.
But I think it’s important to be totally blunt and open with God in prayer because it helps to vent! It helps when we vent with friends or loved ones, right? How much more so when we can cry or yell or even laugh with the One who knows us best. Sharing gratitude and joy with God is important, too.
I have said before that I often don’t know where my thoughts end and my prayers begin. A friend observed that another way to view that condition is “praying without ceasing,” to quote the great St. Paul.
I think that, since it is through conversation and sharing our feelings that we come to know and love other people more, that it’s pretty much essential to speak to God and share our emotions with Him, because the intimacy that creates helps to deepen and intensify our love of, and trust in, God.
And we also need to listen. How do we listen to God? My goodness, His voice is everywhere, His face is everywhere, His love permeates everything.
A great place, or actually the perfect place to learn what God is saying is in His Word, the Holy Bible. That’s where we come to know the mind of God.
The Psalms are full of a person pouring out his heart to God. If you want examples of honestly talking to God, read the Psalms. Seriously. Pick just about any one of them. There are 150 to choose from!
Of course, there are some great Bible study programs out there that can help you dig deep into what you’re reading. But there is much to be learned upon reading and contemplating the words, as well. Try to do both. Ask a friend or family member whom you judge to be well informed on matters of faith what faith study programs they’ve used. And try one of those. It doesn’t hurt to try.
But keep asking the Lord to help you find the person, people, publication, etc. that will help you in your faith walk and lead you to the truth. He will do that for you.
Another of my oft repeated beliefs is, when you ask God a question, expect an answer! And then, as I said above, listen. You may hear the words in something someone else says to you or even overhear it. Or find your answer in a song or something you read, especially in the Bible. But other places, too.
I believe God is speaking to us all the time, but very few of us are listening. Even fewer are aware that we need to listen
When the Word says, “Be still and know that I am God,” that is a great indicator that He’s speaking to us and He wants us to shut up and stop moving so we can hear Him and learn more about Him. That’s when our faith and trust grow and we can know that He is indeed God.
Let us pray:
Lord God, King of the Universe, Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, Lord Holy Spirit, giver of life, we ask that we may be more attentive, still, peaceful so that we may hear Your words to us, Your wisdom. We ask that we may then do what ever it is you are asking of us, understanding that it will be Your will and so we don’t need to concern ourselves with how ‘well’ we can do something. We trust that You will use us for Your purposes, to advance Your Kingdom and glorify You, who is perfection and total love and goodness. We can only seek Your will, and then act on that understanding, to be truly happy and content.
Thank You for “loving us into being!” Thank You for wanting us even though You’ve never needed us. Thank You for building us with a need for You. Bless our efforts, even when we fall. Help us to remember You love us even then, and maybe even more then.
We adore You, we love You, we thank You for every hour of every day. For every breath. For every blessing that allows us to see, feel, know, appreciate.
Let me never tire of sharing my love for You with others. I ask this all in the precious name of Jesus. Amen