Do you remember those TV commercials for the wireless phone company where the guy would be in all kinds of crazy places as he tested the connection by asking, “Can you hear me now?” The idea was that no matter where you were, you’d be able to get through and have a conversation with the person on the other end.
Many of us wonder if our connection with God is working. We’re told that we can pray anywhere and God will hear. We’re told that if God hears He’ll answer. But maybe there’s a bad connection in our prayer line, or no connection at all. Are our prayers getting through? We don’t get an answer even though we’re talking to God.
Of course, conversations generally mean that we talk and then we wait and listen to the response of the other person.
I’ve had times of prayer that are like a one-sided phone conversation. They go something like this:
“Hi, God. How are You? Thank you for this day and for the sunshine. I have a lot to do today and I could really use Your help. I have to get this project done. And do this errand. And remember to call Amy. And then get to this meeting. And that doesn’t leave a lot of time for working out, so I guess I’ll have to do that tomorrow. I need to call Joanne––please be with her today as she waits for the response. And please be with Darla too as she struggles. Thank you that You’re in control. Please help me to understand what You want me to do with that big issue we keep talking about. Okay, love You. Thank you again. Amen.”
Click. I hang up the phone.
Can you imagine if someone called us and spewed that whole litany of a “conversation” and then hung up before we could even say, “I’m fine, thanks for asking”? We’d be looking at the phone and thinking, “What was that?”
This seems preposterous. And yes, it’s a bit exaggerated. But how does God feel when we “go to Him in prayer”? Do we quickly run through our list of wants and needs, wrap up by asking for His blessing, and then head off to our agenda for the day? Do we even give God a chance to speak? We know that one of the primary ways God speaks to us today is through His Word. Do we go to His Word, meditate on Scripture, and wait in prayer? Do we ever ask God what He wants?
And even though we may be consumed with our problems and needs throughout the day, do we think of God again until it’s time to say a prayer at dinner or bedtime? God wants to talk to us. He wants to have continual conversation with us. But most of us view prayer as dialing into a request line.
How many conversations (phone, text or email) do we have with other people during any given day? A lot. How many do we have with God? Not many. Shouldn’t we at least check in with Him a few times during the day? And I will admit that I’ve been in the middle of a “conversation” with God when my phone rang. I actually stopped my prayer to answer the phone, and then proceeded to have a twenty minute conversation, that really was a two-sided conversation, with someone else. How does that make God feel? How would it make us feel if we were on the other line waiting for someone special to come back and talk to us? And what if they never did?
God wants us to bring our requests to Him in prayer. And He will answer every one of them in His way and His timing. But what He wants more than anything is our time and attention. He wants us to come and sit with Him. To have an actual conversation where we’re listening just as much, or even more, than we’re talking. You’re special to God. Come back and talk to Him today. Let Him be a part of your life.
“The Lord has told us what is good. What He requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.” Micah 6:8 (GNT)
May I pray?
God, we’re not always sure that our prayers are getting to You. Your thoughts and Your ways are so far beyond our own that we don’t see how You’re working behind the scenes to answer prayers. And many times we ask for a specific outcome, and we don’t get what we want because Your answer is “no”, or “not yet”. I praise You, Jesus, because You do answer prayer. Help us to start seeing our prayer time with You not as a chance to run through our list, but as special time with a trusted and loving friend. Help us to listen more and talk less, and truly get to know You like never before. Amen.
Q4U: What is something you do in your prayer time with God that makes it “special” time with Him?