Your friend comes to visit you at your house. You are so excited to see him and get to talk. When he arrives, you hug him and tell him how happy you are that he’s there. But you can’t sit down and chat with him right then because you have plans. So you tell him to wait in the living room, and you go get ready. You tell him how sorry you are you can’t stay with him, but that you’ll talk tonight when you get back. But you end up getting home pretty late, and you are too tired to have a good talk. So you just tell him goodnight. And that happens over and over — you just seem to be too busy for your friend.
I was told a similar story when I was younger, learning that we shouldn’t leave our friends in the living room while we go do “more important” things. How hurtful it would be if we were too busy for our friend who came to visit.
And then the storyteller says, “That friend in your living room is Jesus.” Because that is what we do so often. We leave God out of so many things in our lives. We begin to get too busy for Him. We want to pray to Him, but sometimes we forget. I often times want to pray before bed, but then I am so tired that even if I start a prayer I fall asleep during it. I’m often too busy going over my day or my tomorrow to remember that I need to talk to God.
Prayer is not some long, elaborate or formal speech. It is just talking with God — your friend. Tell him about your day. Tell him how you felt about the difficult parts. Tell him how happy you were during the good parts. Ask Him for an even better day tomorrow. Tell Him your wants and needs and desires. Tell Him thanks. Tell Him how great He is. That’s all prayer is.
I’ve asked the question before, “But doesn’t God already know all that? He knows what I’m thinking before I even say it, so why pray?” The answer is communication is key. In every relationship in your life, communication is what keeps that relationship strong. If you are lacking communication with a friend, that friendship begins to fade. It is the same way with God, you have to keep open communication or your walk with Him will suffer and you will begin to grow apart.
The great thing is God is always around whenever you are ready to talk. You don’t have to try and work around His schedule because His schedule revolves around you. He wants to hear about your day, and He wants you to tell Him all your feelings.
He doesn’t to want just to bless the hands that made your food. He doesn’t want to just keep you safe at night. God wants to do immeasurably more. He wants to bless you abundantly. He wants to bring you surprises every day. He wants you to desire a real relationship with Him, because that is what He so strongly desires to have with you.
He’s waiting patiently for you to come to Him. He’s waiting with open ears and an open heart. He wants to hear it all. He wants to listen. We just have to be willing to communicate.
Ways to Improve Communication with God
- Pray out loud. I find that praying out loud helps me to stay focused. It also makes me feel like God is right beside me, which He is, so it’s easier to talk to Him.
- Write your prayers. Maybe this is helpful for me because I am a writer. But often times I like talking to God using a pen and paper. The great part about this way is you can look back on your past prayers and see how much you’ve grown and what prayers God has answered.
- Pray in your car. Some mornings on my way to work I will turn off the radio and pretend God is sitting in my passenger seat. I pray out loud. Some days I go through every one of my friends and pray for each of them. Some days I go through all my family members, and once I went through all my co-workers.
- Send up short prayers all throughout the day. Communicating with God doesn’t mean you take 20 minutes out of your day to spend with Him and the rest of the day you forget about Him. Talk to Him all throughout the day — maybe not always out loud if there are people around — but you can say thanks in your head or ask for the right words while a friend is talking to you.
- Go for a walk or run with God. Sometimes it is nice to just go outside and enjoy God’s creation. Talk to Him while you are walking. If you live in a city, you can pray for those you pass by. If you live in the country, you can thank Him for your beautiful surroundings.
Do you have any other suggestions for keeping your communication with God open and active? If so, please leave a comment below.
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