I’ve told my kids that prayer is just talking to God. Obviously I am no theologian! I know there is so much more and yet, at the same time it really is that simple.
The Creator of the Universe wants to be in intimate fellowship, in close personal relationship with you and me. He has sought us out and bought us back from the slavery of sin at a terrible price, the death of His Son. His pursuit of us demonstrates His great love for us and His desire to bring us close to Him.
But relationships are a two-way street. I love the saying “you’ve got to be a friend to have a friend”. That one has convicted me on more than one occasion in my relationships with other people and, sadly at times, in my relationship with the Lord.
There was a time when I did not pray much. Now, I couldn’t get through more than a couple hours (if that long) without praying. Mostly, I am in constant conversation with the Lord. He is my very best friend, the strongest advocate, a staunch defender, an amazing teacher and a consistent disciplinarian. And I know He loves me, I can just feel it. Closeness with God is a result of prayer. Staying in close intimacy with the Lord surely brings a lot more peace than I have ever known, but this is in keeping with the Word of God:
- You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7)
- Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, MSG).
There are so many worries in this life, sometimes it is easy to get distracted from the Truth. God is good and He is in charge of everything, period. That is rule number one. Rule number two is: see rule number one. When we know God’s character, we can rely on Him. His ways are higher than ours (Is 55:8-9) and all that He does is working for our good (Rom 8:28), to accomplish to His purposes.
God’s plan may not always feel good to us personally, but we cannot deny His Sovereign right to carry out His Will. If we trust Him to make the best choice and we accept that nothing can happen outside of His Will for us, then we can submit to His Plan, rather than asking Him to accept ours. Prayer helps us to know God so that we can trust Him and this is what truly gives us peace in any circumstance.
When I was in my late 20s, I too went through a time when I wasn’t praying as much as I should have, but now it is a different story. I too am in constant conversation all day with the Lord. I wonder if he ever gets tired of hearing my inside voice like my kids get tired of hearing my outside voice -LOL!!! During the time of my late 20s, I was “finding” me again. I went down some paths that weren’t quite the paths the Lord wanted me to take, but I always knew he was walking beside me and telling me, “I’m here and I can see and know what you are feeling and it’s ok”. WHAT AN AMAZING FEELING!!! I am proud to say that I have always known this feeling since I was a little girl and that is what gets me through so much. My prayers were always said at night before falling asleep, much like when I was a little girl.. As a little girl, I can always remember my Daddy telling me to say my prayers and always give thanks‘¦what a memory to have (and there weren’t many memories like that). Now as a parent, I remind my oldest as she is going to bed to say her prayers..which is simple, “Dear God, Thank you God”‘¦such a simple prayer for a little girl, but it says lots. I was raised in a Christian family that expected us to never miss church and if we did, we had better be sick and not be because we were tired from Saturday night. This too is something that has always stuck with me and now that I’m in my late 30s, I can’t miss church without feeling guilty, but I say my prayers and He answers back “I know and see your life, it’s ok – just talk to me”. Even though I’m in constant talk all day with the Lord, I still say my prayers before I fall asleep like I did when I was a little girl. It’s true that relationships are a “two way street” and we must communicate and praying is our only way to communicate with our Lord for everything and feel that closeness to God like we do in our other relationships.