Monday, June 3, 2013

Prayer - It Takes Two to Converse

I have a confession to make. I've failed to pray as I ought. I've been very adamant about seeking God in his Word this week, asking him to give me a better understanding of his character and of his will for me in my daily living. I admit that it has been way too long since I've combed through the scriptures with such determination and focus. The peace that fills me as I communicate with the Lord so intimately is a welcome blessing.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 tells us to “pray continually...for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus” and Ephesians 6:16 instructs us to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." God wants us to talk to him about everything. He wants us to share our desires, our frustrations and questions, our weaknesses and repentance directly with him - all of it, all the time. This is his will. It can be kind of intimidating to approach the Creator of the Universe, the Lord and King of all. But like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz, we do not approach him alone. He has given us the Holy Spirit to hold our hand, to encourage us and even to speak for us when we can't utter a word and it is with this Companion by our side that we converse with a Holy God with confidence and joy, sharing all that is on our hearts.

Prayer is how God reveals his desires and directives to us. It's how he communicates with us. Too often, over the last few years, I've found myself at a ministry meeting where the meeting was opened and closed in prayer and I wondered why. Were we in fact inviting God into our midst, seeking his will for his Church? Or were we praying (speaking a short monologue in God's direction) because prayer was the first item on the agenda, because it's a church meeting and it just seems like something we should do? Did we expect a response from God?

I'm asking myself if I, as I pray, expect God to answer. Am I listening for his voice in the conversation? Am I talking with God or speaking at him? And I admit that I am disappointed with my answers. But, here's the good news. This past week, I was reminded that God is still happy to speak with me and spend time with me. He isn't holding my inconsistency against me, but encouraging me to grow and build on the foundation of faith that is there. He has not taken his Spirit from me and, in fact, has been guiding me all along, even when I didn't stop to seek his guidance.

God is tenacious in his love for us always and is faithful to his promise to never leave us. He is our God and we are his people. That doesn’t change in God’s eyes during those moments when we neglect to include him – THE omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal God – in the conversation. If it's been a while since you've had a real conversation with God, I encourage you to do it right now. Do not fear, for you are not approaching God as the cowardly lion trembling as he makes his way to the throne room of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, but as a child running home yelling, "Guess what Daddy, guess what!" God is waiting for you to start the conversation so that he can tell you how much he loves you.

1 comment:

Audrey said...

I love the phrase...God is tenacious in His love for us!
I love the feeling of security and peace this image fills me with.
Thanks for sharing so eloquently!