IS PRAYER ONLY TALKING TO GOD?

Copyright 2006 Roger and Eileen Himes

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Prayer is indeed communication with God, but keep in mind this is two-ways. It is not just motor mouthing our desires. Of course it is asking God for things, and interceding for others. But it is a lot more. Paul says to pray without ceasing (I Thess 5:21). Jesus says, “Ask that your joy may be full.” There is an part of prayer that is TALKING to God. Does this mean to never stop praying — never stop talking? NO!

Prayer is also listening to God. It’s also having an attentive heart to things of God, and events and people God brings to us. The Holy Spirit is involved in our life, and prays for us in ways we do not understand (Rom 8:26). Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Prayer is a lot more than just us talking.

To me, prayer is CONNECTION with God, which is how I’ve come to view communication. Jesus says to abide in him like the branch abides in the vine (John 15:1-5). So I view prayer as an unbroken spiritual relationship with God, in which he works through us to accomplish his ways in the earth (Gal 2:20, Phil 1:6).

In a sense, to me, prayer is simply ‘hanging out with God.’ We can do this at anytime of the day, in anything we are doing. It’s merely a matter of attitude and consciousness. Prayer is communion with God in recognition of the body and blood of Jesus. It’s worship for what God did for us 2,000 years ago on the cross of Christ. It’s also worship for what he’s done in me — last week, and today. Prayer is even worshipping God for the revelation he gives us when we ask him to. Paul calls it ‘the abundance of revelation’ in the gospel. Prayer is practicing the presence of God.

The more I come to know God, and trust him, the less I pray — at least in the conventional, traditional sense of ‘talking to him.’ This doesn’t mean I DON’T talk to him. I just talk to him less than I used to. But I hang out with him, and I connect with him a lot more than I used to. I hear from him a lot more than I used to, because now I’m not so busy talking.

Paul talks of knowing WHOM he believes (I Tim 1:12). Most of us are too focused on WHAT we believe to have much time to worry about WHOM we believe. The prayers of most Christians are focused on themselves, or on others, — not on God. I’ve just come to see things a little differently. Focusing on WHOM I believe produces TRUST in me at greater depths. As trust grows deeper, the need for me to pray in the traditional sense (talk to God and tell him things) is much less. This produces a lot more time just to ‘fellowship with God in his glorious gospel’ — the finished work of Christ for me (Phil 1:5). It allows me opportunity to be more ‘childlike,’ and treat God like my ‘Abba Father,’ instead of like a benefactor I feel I must influence to get my desires fulfilled.

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