From the very beginning, God was close to mankind. He did not only shape and breathe into man; He actively talked to him on a regular basis. Even when man sinned in the Garden of Eden, God came looking for man, calling out to re-establish the connection that was so precious to God. God wanted to talk about what went wrong and how they could go forward in the best possible way. God wanted to provide a remedy for what transpired between them and actively sought them out to bridge the gap that resulted from their disobedience.
To this day, God wants to be in conversation with you, His most precious creation. Prayer is many things, but first and foremost it is a heartfelt and honest conversation between you and God about what matters to you. You live in a world with limitations, and you have very specific needs as you travel through your life. God loves to be involved in your life, and He is waiting for you to open up the channels of communication. Jesus makes it very clear that God is waiting for you to start talking, without hesitation, about what you need from Him:
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?” Matthew 7:7-11 (The Message Bible).
Our scripture makes it clear: Ask for what you need! Would you just try it today, maybe even right now? Talking to God is just like talking to your best friend ... only better. But what kind of friend will never respond to your words? An authentic conversation is a two-way street.
God can help you. Just go ahead and start talking to God about your fears, your needs, and your dreams. He is politely waiting for you. Will you take the first step? Then, are you willing to wait for His response … the quiet whispers of His friendly voice?
Prayer is simply talking and listening to God.
“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” Hymn lyrics by Joseph M. Scriven (1820-1886).
- What is the biggest challenge you face right now?
- What or who are you most concerned about?
- Write this down on a piece of paper you can easily access in the days ahead.
- Now take a few minutes to talk to God about this challenge and ask for His help in a very specific way, like a little kid asking an adult for assistance. You will be so glad you did!
Excerpted from Go Vertical by Iann Schonken: