When does God talk to you? Does God actually speak to you? Or … does He put a thought in your head or a feeling in your heart without saying, “Hey!! This is God. I want you to quit your job and work for the Church. And by the way … keep smoking those cigarettes and you’re gonna die of cancer. And stop that drinking.” I mean … wouldn’t it be easier if God just told you what He wanted? Maybe He does and we just don’t listen.
I’ve had times in my life when I believe God was listening to me. I believe He listens to me all the time and knows my heart without my saying anything. Maybe what I mean is, I’ve asked God for “things” before. Later, when I get what I asked for, usually some time will pass before I remember: Oh Yeah. I asked God for that!! He answered my prayer! You’d think if it were important enough for me to go to God about I would’ve remembered asking for it.
So how do you talk to God? Do you use lots of “Thou’s” & “Thee’s”? Ever notice how so many people fall into rhythms when they pray or use the same words over and over? I’ve heard this one a lot …
“Lord … we just pray that You’d just have Your way Lord. We just know that it’s all about You Lord. Just help us to be worthy. We just want to thank You Lord for just being in our lives. Just have Your way Lord. Just help us just be just in all our ways.”
See what I mean? Surely I’m not the only one who’s noticed the “just” method of prayer? I’ve heard it in every church I’ve ever attended. And the prayers SOME people say … it just goes on and on and on and on and on and on … Hallelujah never ending. It’s a competition to see who can say the longest prayer. As if the longer the prayer the more likely God will be listening. I’ve heard some real marathon prayers, and everyone in the church knows the one who says the longest prayers. You can almost hear an audible groan during football season when “Frank the Marathon Prayer” gets asked to say the sending prayer.
This truly perplexes me. The marathon prayer, I mean. Because Jesus said, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Then He taught the people “The Lord’s Prayer.”
So why do we persist in these long drawn out prayers? One would think that as Christians we’d want to do what Jesus said, or at least maybe even make it a little shorter. Let’s face it, it’s not like we actually DO forgive those who trespass against us. Perhaps a more appropriate prayer might be. “Dear Lord. You know my heart. Have Your way. Amen.”
We go to God making all these promises and asking for everything from wealth to fame to wisdom. Ultimately it seems that God will have His way. How about: ”Thank You God for everything. Amen.” I wonder if God sits on His throne looking down on us with amusement when we come to Him asking for “things” and making promises we know in our hearts we won’t or can’t keep. Making our bargains with God: “Lord, if You just help me get this raise dear Lord, I’ll make sure I tithe from this point forward.” Yeah … right.
I think God wants us to pray. I just think that maybe He’d like a little more appreciation for creating everything. God created life and everything we know, touch, see, feel, smell, taste, sense … you get the picture. He created EVERYTHING and yet we pray for “things”.
So here’s my prayer: ”God, thank You for everything. Thank You for life, my family, my wife and my beautiful children. I love You God. Thank You for sacrificing Your beautiful Son for me. You know my heart. Have Your way Lord. Make me what You want me to be. Amen.”
I’m not saying my way is the right way. It just seems to work for me. I guess I’m through trying to make deals with God. God knows me better than anyone; He knows what I’m all about. There are no secrets. Once you realize that it’s liberating. Amen.