I want you to succeed. I want you to have real joy and peace in this life. I’m not being patronizing here, I truly desire the best for each and every one of you reads this; I can’t speak for anyone else, but I pray for the readers of this blog often.
What do I want for you? I want what I believe is good for you, and healthy spiritually speaking. But… what do I want from you? Now, it’s not my place to put requirements on you or shame you into decisions and commitments. The worst I can do I desire something of you, verbalize it, and hope for the best.
When I say I care, I mean it. Because I love words so much, I try never to waste them or use them flippantly. So, to you, my loyal reader from the USA, Germany, the Philippines, India, Uganda, Egypt, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, or any other of the countries I may have missed, I deeply care about you and pray for you.
Cut the Sap
As much as I’d enjoy flattering your ego and my own with extraneous and superfluous statements on this topic, I try not to blog unless I have something to say, (though, sometimes I’ll blog anyway). However, there is a purpose to this post and I’m getting to it now.
Prayer: the quite, alone time spent in conversation with God, earnestly desiring to hear a word from Him.
There are many definitions of prayer in this modern Christian Era; corporate prayer takes on a different form than personal prayer, and intercession is often done in small groups; even confession has ceased to be between you and God: we’ve added a third-party intercessor who is not Jesus Christ the righteous. Prayer has become more a ritual and religious rite of the church than a daily necessity of the Christian life.
In order to understand the importance of prayer, we must first acknowledge its purpose. As badly as we want to convince ourselves that our praying is for God’s sake, that He needs to know what’s going on down here in the world-, wait, what?! How in the world did we ever convince ourselves of that lie?
Did you just read that? We’ve fallen so hard off the turnip truck, (and evidently landed on our head), that we think God needs us to tell Him what’s going on! WAKE-UP already, people! When God saved YOU, He began a work in YOU to make YOU more like Him. The Holy Spirit wasn’t given to the believers for God’s benefit. Prayer isn’t God’s newspaper.
Everything leading up to your salvation was you making your life about yourself and what you wanted. Salvation occurred when Jesus called your heart to surrender, and you realized your life wasn’t about you. Sanctification, (the process of molding you into the image of God), instigated at salvation is all about how The Holy Spirit is making you more like Christ’s example. All of this is for God’s glory! None of it is done by you, but it is done for your benefit.
Prayer isn’t about you either
So, you might as well get that out of your head right now. Prayer isn’t something you do for God. It is a gift of God. Prayer is communication with God Almighty through the intercessor, Jesus Christ. We have been given a glorious gift of being able to speak and to hear from the God of all infinity by approaching Him in prayer!
God want’s to hear from you, but not because He needs to know what you’re going to say. Did you know that you learn a lot about a person not by speaking to them, but by listening to them.
I was watching my favorite TV show, “Girl Meets World”, a few nights ago, (yeah, like you don’t have a guilty pleasure), and the episode about belief stuck out to me. In this episode faith in God is characterized by prayer. Why? Because they’re all good, “Christian”, people in the show so what else would set actual believers apart?
The two main characters are having a conversation and one says how she prayed a prayer for the first time. All she asked for was for other’s to be taken care of. After being asked what she prayed for herself, she seems surprised, “I would never bug Him about me”, she says. The other replies that she always bugs Him about her.
That’s what prayer has become to even non-Christian directors and actors in a Disney TV show. Prayer is only a way to get something from God by asking for it. No! That’s not it at all! Prayer is the chance to get to know God by hearing His voice speak to you.
Hearing a word from God
The question is, how? How do we hear from God? Are there steps to follow, words to say… What’s the secret here? In all honesty, it’s not as easy as that. The secret is, if you want to hear from God, you need to listen to what He is saying. One pastor put it this way:
I’d imagine when people get mad at God for not answering their prayers, He’s thinking, “You didn’t listen to what I told you, why should I have listened to what you told me? You didn’t what I asked you to do, why should I do what you asked me to do?”.
Really though, do we have a close enough relationship with God, that we would know what He wants and desires of us? Are we good enough friends with God that we would recognize His voice when He speaks to us? Or are we even listening for it?
But, you want a shortcut, an easy road. Well, there actually is one for this. Instead of all the other stuff, just read the Cliff’s notes. God wrote a book summarizing every word you’d ever need to hear in this life. Because His word is life and truth, power and authority, you can trust it. Want God to speak to you? Well, He already has and He wrote it down for you to read.
That book you have on the desk, on the shelf, it’s not just people who wrote about what God said, it is the inspired Word of God. It is God’s letter to you. Read it; pray and read it; pray, listen, and read it. Let God speak to you through His word and by His Holy Spirit.
Your father wants to hear from you, He wants to speak to you, would you take some time to get to know Him today?
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist