“Rachel, just talk to Me.” These words rang in my mind for days as I wrestled with what I knew about prayer versus what I felt God wanted me to know.
"It couldn’t be that simple," I thought to myself."Was it honoring to the God of the universe to approach Him conversationally?" It didn’t feel right, but I knew something about it was right.
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (see Matthew 26:39) didn’t start His prayer with some perfect formula. He started with a request and ended it with a statement. He simply talked to God.
...“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (NIV)
Simple, straightforward, sincere.
So I tried it. To make it a little less odd, I started by journaling. I would journal a full conversation with God in a notebook that I had dedicated to this purpose. I’d share about my day, things that bothered me, questions I had, people I was concerned about. I just journaled anything that came to me. My feelings, my emotions, my excitement, my disappointment. Although I was the only one writing, for some reason it never felt like a one-way conversation. Thoughts would come into my mind. Ideas and solutions that seemed far beyond my ability to create would find a landing pad in my head. So, I would write them down. Before I knew it, I had dozens of journals with conversations I had with God.
This is when I realized the thing I was misunderstanding about prayer all along.
Prayer is simply a conversation.
Conversations are the cornerstones of communication and relationships. They are essential in every way, and how we choose to approach the conversation will determine how the relationship builds. Certain conversational styles will cultivate a healthy friendship, while other styles will create a perception of an unhealthy servant/master relationship.
God doesn’t change from one conversation to the next; it's our view of Him that changes. This view determines if a conversation with Him will become part of our daily life as a relationship or a religious routine. He’d much rather it be a relationship.
This is what I was beginning to understand. Approaching God in prayer is about honor, but not perfection. It’s a conversation between two of the most important people to each other. A Creator and His creation. This conversational approach to prayer is the essence of an uncomplicated prayer journey. And this is the journey I hope you will choose to begin today.
Take a moment and consider, what does prayer as a conversation with God look like for you?