Did I hear you say:
"Dear God, What do I say next?"
Are you feeling inadequate in your prayer life because you don't always know what to say? If yes, then you are not alone. But not to worry, God wants you to know: it is really not that hard. He wants you to know that it is easy! God would not want you to struggle to be with Him. He finds great pleasure in you and your conversation. God wants it to be easy to talk to Him. And I am here to tell you, it is easy to talk to God. Through God's Word and the Holy Spirit's intervention, I learned how, and I want to share it with you dear friends.
It all started when I reviewed my day four chapter in One Month to Live, a book I highly recommend. This chapter discusses how to stay connected to God. The authors maintain that to stay connected to the ultimate power source, God, we need constant communication with Him. It sounds reasonable. Then they give us "conversational prayer" as the tool and outlet . Conversational prayer, that certainly sounds easy initially. But when I try to put it into action it melts away. I think that it may be worthwhile to explore this more. We need the "How to" book on it. Why sending emails seems easier than conversational prayer all day, prayer with God, the creator of us and the universe.
And I absolutely have no difficulty spending even an hour on the phone with a friend. I have no problem running out of things to say to strangers. I guess that means I talk a little too much. In the past, I began to make serious efforts to listen more and talk less. I still try to do that now. But guess what? I don't have to stop myself from talking to God. That is not to say I should not be quiet and listen also. But I think that God might enjoy my rambling, like now I suppose. The point is God never gets bored with our conversation, or tired of us calling him to talk. He actually desires to hear from us often. That doesn't mean he wants constant complaining. He expects some complaining, just not constant of course. He loves to hear from us. His line is never busy. He doesn't screen calls on his caller ID. He is never too busy.
Goodness, there is someone out there that really longs to talk to us.
See 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says,
pray continually. NIV
Pray without ceasing. KJV
Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly] Amplified Bible
Now that we are convinced that our Father God wants us to talk to him, what should I say? I don't know what to say always, and especially all day. Listen to this: you do not have to prepare to pray (talk to God.) You do not have to concentrate on the perfect words. You don't need a lesson in the "eloquent" prayer. You are already ready. Yes, I said already ready. You are ready right this very moment! Does that sound good to you?
Here is why I say that, I found it right in the Bible, go figure. I am pretty smart these days. Stop what you are doing and go get your Bible, God talks in that thing. Read Psalm 139:1-4 with me. David speaks to God. David has conversational prayer. But listen to what he has to say about our Father God.
Psalm 139:1-4 (New International Version)
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
"Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely." "You perceive my thoughts from afar." God knows us completely. David says that God has searched us, he did not say God sees us or looks at us. No, God has searched us. Search means more than taking a good look at you. Search means divine examination in this text. The original Biblical word is hagar, divine examination as God "searches" the heart. Have you ever searched for something that you lost in your own house, without success? I have many times. Searching means for me, looking where I think it should be, then looking in the same place again, then looking where it should not be and there again. When that fails, I start searching everywhere. I would look behind the refrigerator if I could. At this point I start calling those friends I have seen recently. I ask them to search their homes despite the fact that I think it is in my house. Does this sound familiar to you? I have some items as large as a cordless phone missing over a year or two, and I still find myself looking for it occasionally. In other words, don't pass by the word "search" so quickly. God searches us, you! He examines you inside and out. He examines your heart, soul and mind. He searches to know every detail about you. I think He may even search the same place several times not because He has lost something, because He loves his creation and enjoys searching and examining it. So, "O LORD you have searched me and you know me" are some heavy words. O Lord you do know me.
The second verse tells us that He knows when we sit and rise, which is amazing. However, we will concentrate on our thoughts and mind now. "You perceive my thoughts from afar." God is omniscient, able to access our thoughts, motives and attitude. He perceives every bit of our mind field. Psalm 139 also states that God knows all our ways. He knows our character and habits. He knows what we are likely to do in a circumstance. He knows our ways, individual and unique ways.
Now here we are to verse four,
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
He perceives your thoughts from afar. He knows what you are thinking. And he knows what you are about to say before it is on your tongue. I think that verse speaks for itself. Read it again.
"Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord." Stop and think about that. Before your very next word is spoken, God already knew it. He knows what we are thinking and what we will say before we say it. With knowing this and really getting it, should we still have trouble with this "conversational prayer" thing? Why God knows what we are going to say anyway. He knows what we are thinking. So we can relax and just talk. Even if we don't put it in words well, it does not matter. He knows our thoughts about it. (If you want improve on your words for prayer, simply spend more time in the Bible and with the Holy Spirit. However their is no need to focus your attention on words, just the Word.)
Now do we get it? Do we understand that the words we speak to God are clearly understood by the One who heard you think it? So say whatever you want. If you start to worry about the kids with their fighting, just say, "Help! Dear God, Help!" Guess what? He knows what you need help with because "he perceives your thoughts from afar." If you feel tired or not well, just speak, "Dear God, Help!" He knows why you need help because you thought about it before you spoke it. Your child comes home with an "A" on a test. Just say, "Thank you God. Thank you." He knows why you are grateful. You have just avoided a car accident. Say, "Thank you God." You are holding a newborn baby. Say "God your are so good." And at anytime, anywhere, and for any reason, good or bad, say "God I love you."
The only thing left to do is start. Start and don't stop.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (King James Version)
Pray without ceasing.
This is a lesson given to me by the Holy Spirit. God's love for our conversation is real and beautiful.
Written by Truly Kernea early 2008
Author is God