"Dear Father, I love you and I want to communicate with You. Please show me how that is possible. Bring me to the place in my day for the opportunity to hear and know You. Thank you, God. I want to be listening."
I want to add this right now. If you are not a Christian, if you do not know Jesus as your "personal" Savior, please know that all you have to do is ask. This is a prayer that God is always waiting to hear. All you have to do is say,
"Dear Father, I do not know you. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son, who died on the cross for me. I am asking You into my heart. I know that I am a sinner, separated from you. Please come into my heart and make me a new person. I'm asking in Jesus Name, Amen."
We are studying prayer, so let’s look up the word "prayer" in the dictionary and see what definitions it gives.
Oxford Dictionary “Prayer”
"To make supplication, beseech, entreat, ask, to call upon, implore, appeal, to plead with, beg. "
Let's look at what we see here in these definitions. What is happening? Is this one-way? Or is this an interaction?
Now let’s look at another word definition to see if we can see the difference. Let’s read the definition and see if we see if we can guess what the “word” is:
Oxford Dictionary "________"
"To share thoughts feelings and understanding; to fellowship; to be open, ready; to inform, to transmit, to pass on, to convey information; to speak confidentially and intimately; to feel close, to be in touch with; to be of one mind and to be on the same wavelength."
Personally I like the idea of the second concept much better. So not only would I be asking, calling upon, entreating, etc., but I would then be "fellowshipping, speaking intimately to, and being on the same wavelength" .Do we see that this word is "communicate, communication"?
I think we can see the difference between what we might think “prayer” is and what “communion, or "communication” with the Father might be?
The word “Prayer” in our modern day concept has more of a “one-way” idea to it; a monologue. Where this word, “communication”, has the concept of a “two-way” interaction, or connection, give and take; a dialogue. I'm not saying that we should not ask God in “prayer”, I’m saying let’s concentrate on how to “communicate” with God in prayer. Let it be a time of communication and not just a time of asking, begging or pleading.
God’s great desire is for relationship with His children, and that means "communication". How would your spouse like it if all you ever said to him or her was in the form of "asking, begging, or pleading"? Wouldn't you want to speak back to them, to share, and to "communicate"?
Me in Real Life:
Now, I'm going to tell you a little about the beginning of my prayer "journey". I was never a big "pray-er". I'd put it off until I went to bed. I was tired and many thoughts of the day were crowding my mind. I would have good intentions, but either I would fall asleep a few lines into it, or I would start thinking horrible thoughts about things that had happened in my life. Why was I having such terrible disconnected thoughts each time I had such good intentions of praying?
Because of this, I decided that I needed to start "journaling" my prayers. I started a notebook, nothing fancy, just a three ringed school notebook, that each evening I would write out my prayers at the kitchen table, not in bed. Then I realized that some scripture was coming to mind also, so I brought my Bible in and would start looking for scripture. If thoughts of condemnation, or injury, or upset started popping in my head, I would just say "no" out loud. I have to tell you at this point I had a hint it might be the devil injecting this junk to keep me from prayer, but all I knew to do was say, "NO". The enemy got the point!
What I'm going to say next was for me. I'm not telling you what to do. Just sharing my experience.
I have always been an avid reader. I devoured books, all kinds, from classics to...well everything. Not pulp junk or smut, but just an avid reader, especially good horror, mystery, occult whatever. I know, I know. This was about 13 years ago, mind you. Just sharing all my junk. Anyway, my head was always cluttered with thoughts and ideas, non of them from God. God started showing me that my free time was being filled with literary "garbage" and that if I would spend that time reading books about Him and the Bible, my life would start to have new direction. So I made a commitment. No more secular books. I became a constant customer at our two main religious bookstores, and I've never looked back. Now, let me stress, I'm not saying do that, not even advocating it. But in my heart I knew that was something God was asking of me, and it has "paid off".
Let's look at that scripture from James again.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
So then, what does the word "righteous" mean. It's from the Greek word, "dikaios". Which means "upright, in right standing". Now, just a thought here: what if I had ignored God's word to me about my reading habits? Or said "Nope, doing what I want here!" Just a thought...
"In right standing" means, in the salvation covenant, or being "saved"; being a believer in Jesus Christ, but it also means "being in right standing with God", on a daily basis. So if I had ignored God's clear word to me would we have been on the same wavelength? I don't think so. If you have something God has been nudging you to do, then get before Him and "discuss" it. Don't ignore Him. Strive to be "in right standing" before God.
Sending prayer for all those in Haiti.
Love you all,