Have you ever started a conversation with someone and then the phone rang, so you answered it. After the phone call, you picked back up with talking and then your baby started crying. So you took care of the baby. You tried to keep talking but it seemed like there was always something that interrupted. And besides, there was work to be done. So you decided to get at your work and visited while you worked. If you’re good enough friends with who you’re talking to, that usually goes great, because you know and understand each other well enough.
That might be a little more challenging if it’s a stranger you’re talking to, because you need to focus on what you’re saying and how to keep the conversation going. At least, that’s how it is for me. If I’m not quite comfortable with someone, it takes a lot of my focus to get anything else done than visit with them.
So here’s where I’m going with this: Talking to the Lord like we’re talking with our best friend.
The Lord has been teaching me a lot about prayer lately, and how I truly was not having the deep conversations with Him that I should have. It was easy just to say prayers with daughter before bed, quickly ask God for a blessing on the day in the morning and mention those I love, but not go deep in praise, in intercession for others, and in pleading for guidance. And then that led to not really communicating with Him about the little things throughout the day.
In an online conversation one day, someone was talking about the book The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson, and since I had it sitting on my shelf, I decided to read it. It really changed how I thought about prayer and how I thought about myself. Here’s me being really honest, y’all!
So, the main character of the book, though she didn’t even realize it, basically thought of herself as the good girl, the girl who never got in to drugs or drinking, was a great mom, went to church every Sunday… It wasn’t until God allowed a tragedy in her life that she came to understand, she needed grace just like everyone else. She needed forgiveness as much as her former drug-addict friend, as much as her husband, as much as anyone else she knew!
It made me seriously evaluate my own thought and prayer patterns… Even though I would have told anyone who asked me, “Of course I’m as needy as the next person! Of course I need Jesus!”, I really was not seeing who I was before Him.
I could speak passionately about Truth, quote Scripture, and pray earnestly but in my heart, I did not see myself as a needy person, a weak human who desperately needed grace. I wasn’t making sure He was my best friend. I tried to just plow through my days, thinking I was depending on Him but in reality, I was trying in my own strength. It was a form of pride and God graciously showed me what was happening in my heart. I’m so thankful for His forgiveness and second chances.
Let’s discuss prayer a little more and how we can practice God’s presence throughout the day.
Here’s what 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, in three simple words: Pray without ceasing.
So obviously, we can’t spend our entire day on our knees in deep prayer. Duties call, right? The things that God has called us to, whether it be homemaking, babysitting, work, school… Here’s the thing – He’s with us in all of those places! He’s there as we wash dishes, sit at our desk, take care of those special needs people! He’s with us, longing to help us, guide us, bless us! And He does help, guide, and bless, even when we’re not aware of it! Wouldn’t it be so much more special though, if we were aware of it?
So what if we started each day with that deep conversation? What if we connect and share with Him every day? Won’t that lead to having a continual conversation with Him all day long? Won’t that lead to being aware of His presence and asking for His grace in the trying times?
He welcomes us to “come boldly to the throne of grace”! He wants to be friends! I’m thinking of some Old Testament people who were friends with God. There was Abraham, who was called the friend of God. (James 2:23) There was Enoch… Genesis 5:22-24 talks about him and it doesn’t say much, except that he “walked with God”. I can imagine that King David was very close to the Lord, calling Him his Shepherd. All that time watching sheep, I’m sure he spent plenty of time just conversing with God.
That’s how I want to live. I want my days to be a constant conversation, telling the Lord how thankful I am for the rain or asking Him to guard my heart and tongue against gossip or pleading for grace on a friend’s life or asking Him for wisdom on how to better serve my husband. Being so close to God we are aware of His presence throughout the day and open our hearts to hear His voice speak to us.
There’s so much negativity in our world. Politics, tragedies, hurricanes and shootings fill up many of the news headlines and can cause fear in my heart. I actually don’t read many headlines for that reason, but I still like to have an awareness of what’s happening in our world. But instead of worrying and allowing fear to overtake my thoughts, I want to bring those in need, our government leaders, and these troubled times we live in to our all-knowing God. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Paul talks about this very thing!
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Another thing that is so important is to go to the Lord in raising our children. We can read all the books we want and ask other seasoned parents for advice, two wonderful things! But at the end of the day, we will need to be depending on God for His ultimate wisdom, because He understands our children’s needs better than anyone else.
I love the verse in James 1:5.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Here’s another verse that is so awesome when we are overwhelmed and need Jesus in a special way…
“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24
There’s a song that I’ve been listening to a lot lately, and I’m going to share a few of the lyrics with you. They challenge me every time I hear them. The song title is “Living In Love With the Lord”, sung by The Collingsworth Family.
God grant us all the humility and strength to walk with Him moment by moment!
For His glory,