Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Who You Talkin' To?

The word today is Pray.  I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer.  Apparently so have a lot of other people.  I say that because my pastor preached about it recently, there’s a movie about it (War Room) and for some reason prayer is exactly what I’ve been struggling with.  That might intimidate some people.  It sometimes intimidates me.  But praying has been on my mind a lot lately, especially with the movie being released.  Maybe you wonder why it’s been prevalent in my mind.  I don’t wonder.  I already know.

Prayer is our direct line to the Lord, to God.  Prayer is our lifeline, it’s our strategy for spiritual warfare, it’s our very life.  And if you think we don’t have spiritual warfare, then you’re not where God wants you to be and the devil isn’t concerned about you.  That’s a scary place to be.  Because if you truly belong to the Lord, if you love Him, serve Him, and walk according to your calling, then you’re sure to be under spiritual warfare and need to be in prayer.

Jesus said this about prayer;

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” ~Matthew 6:6, NKJV

To pray simply means to have a conversation with our Heavenly Father.  To talk to God.  And with that, many people tense up feel anxious, and some even become fearful.  Talk to God.  The God!  The Maker of the Universe, the earth, sky, trees, waters, birds, fish, animals, and yes even us.  Talk to Him?  Yes!

But how?

For centuries people have wondered the same thing.  How do we actually talk to God?  What is prayer?  How do we do it?  Even Jesus’ Disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1-4).  They had watched Him go off alone to talk to His Father.  They knew He often got up way before dawn and went to pray. Yet, when it came to them praying, they didn’t know how?

How do we access God?

Simply put, we access God by opening our hearts, our minds, and our mouths and TALK.  How do you talk to your best friend?  It’s the same with God.  Just do it.  There are so many self-help books out there on prayer today.  There are so many acronyms for teaching us the “proper” way to pray.  They’re all very helpful, too.  But if they cause you anxiety, confusion, and prevent you from praying, then my suggestion is to just go to God, humbly, honestly, and reverently (respectfully) and just talk to Him.  That’s all He wants.

God just wants to have a relationship with you.  He wants your attention.  He wants to give you His attention.  He is already listening for you, waiting for you.  He will bend down and give his ear to listen to you.  Why?  Because He loves you.  He is crazy about you.  I mean, He made you so why wouldn’t He be nuts over you?  Really!

Talk to God like you do your best friend.

Yes, I had heard that over and over again for years and years.  Even after God healed me, I prayed to Him, but I still struggled with how to start and how to end.  I thought that by saying “Amen” it meant my prayer was over and the conversation was ended.  But I was wrong.  Amen simply means, “So be it.”  By saying “in Jesus’ name” simply means that we are agreeing with Him, we are praying as He instructed in His Word that we should ask anything in His name.  It’s not hard to do.

“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” ~John 14:14 (NKJV)

When we talk to God, it’s okay to tell Him how you feel.  He wants to know.  He already knows, but He wants you to tell Him anyway.  By doing that, you are confessing to Him, you’re trusting Him.  You’re getting things off your chest.  You are “casting all your cares upon Him” (1 Peter 5:7).

In turn, God wants you to listen to Him.  Wait patiently for Him to talk to you.  I’ve stood on my porch stoop before, waiting… and waiting… and waiting… thinking He’s never going to say anything.  And when He does, how will I know it’s Him?  Maybe you’re there, too.  Maybe you wonder how you’ll know.  This is what happened to me; as I stood there one day, I decided in my heart that I wasn’t leaving the stoop until He answered me.  I decided that I wanted my joy back and I wasn’t leaving until I had it.  So I closed my eyes and just listened. 

As I stood there listening something happened.  I began to calm down.  I began to enjoy the sounds around me.  And then, ever so subtly, so quietly, I felt the joy wash over me in a soft caress and I knew.  I KNEW it was Him!  How long had I stood there?  I don’t know.  I also don’t care.  Because God, the Creator, Author, and Finisher of not only my faith, but of time was in charge and I was more than happy to let Him be.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.” ~Psalm 40:1 (NKJV)

Prayer.  It’s simple.   It’s assertive.  It’s bold.  It’s so much more than we make it, yet so much easier than we allow it to be.  Jesus said if we pray in secret, He will reward us openly.  This is so very true!  It’s amazing and it’s wonderful.

In the movie War Room, Miss Clara taught her protégé Elizabeth how to get specific when she prays in her secret war room.  It’s not difficult.  Just write down your specific requests, write down Scriptures, and then PRAY.  But also, don’t forget to write down when God answers your prayers, because He promises that He will.

So, Who are you talkin’ to today?


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