Yesterday I spent three hours with long-time friends I rarely see–over freshly ground Guatemalan coffee.
Swede and Judy Anderson and I go way back to when I was still a student at the University of Texas. For two years, while they and I were located at Cru headquarters at Arrowhead Springs, Judy led a Bible study for me and some other young women. I learned a lot about life and ministry and faithfulness from her.
When we got together we picked right up—talking about latest ministry opportunities, our children and grandchildren, health issues, what God is teaching us. We had no trouble talking without ceasing for three hours—and could have kept going.
So why is it so hard for us to pray without ceasing—to talk with God all the time, about everything?
Judy, Swede and I had a conversation. We asked questions, listened, responded, shared, laughed, sympathized, encouraged. We talked with each other.
That’s what prayer is:
A conversation with God.
He wants to talk with me. Usually I want to talk with Him.
I come with my coffee cup. God is waiting for me—patiently. He so desires to be with me, with you.
Sometimes I begin with “What would you like to say to me, Lord?” If I stay quiet and listen, He will answer a question, or a remind me of a Scripture verse, or give a word of instruction. Often, though, He says, “Oh Judy, I am so pleased with you. And so happy to have this time with you!”
He listens and I listen.
Sometimes I come in tears, hurt by harsh words, or saddened at a great loss, or confused by my circumstances. Compassion and comfort flow from Him. Loving words console. Scriptural words remind me of the truths that are still true, even with tears.
Other times I lash out, angry that the omnipotent, loving God has done “this” or allowed “this” to happen to me or to someone I love. I am grateful that He can handle my anger, and he waits for me to calm down. Then He shares words of wisdom, peace, hope, conviction, reconciliation—whatever my anger requires.
Or I might hurry in with my list of requests: Do this, Lord. Heal her. Provide this. Rebuke him. Take care of that. Give me what I need/want…. He remembers that He has invited me to ask, and He has answers: “No, Judy, you will be so sorry if I give you that.” Or perhaps, “Let’s wait a little while on that one.” Or, “I am so glad to provide that for you, my daughter.” Or most often, “I have a better idea.”
Then there are times I am overwhelmed at the greatness and goodness of God and I fall on my face before Him. Why would the almighty, creator God of the universe even talk to me, much less grant my requests?!? But He does.
Occasionally I rush into His presence bubbling over with joy and gratitude: “Oh thank You, Lord! Thank You! Thank You!” Or I might come meekly to Him, in sorrow or disappointment, and also say, “Thank You, Lord.”
You see, prayer is not about getting God to do what I want Him to do. It’s about getting to know Him. It’s about going deeper in my relationship with Him. It’s about falling more in love with my Lord.
Prayer is quick chat, a sweet exchange, a comforting talk, a long conversation—with God, my Abba Daddy. Oh the wonder of it!
What about you? Tell us about a recent conversation with God!
C2017 Judy Douglass