A six-letter word that contains an immensity of significance and meaning. Prayer at its simplest is communication with God. At its greatest it is connection with God. We are exhorted to pray, but it is more than a religious duty. We read of great prayers in the Scriptures, but find it difficult to understand their source. I have come face-to-face with the bankruptcy seen in my own prayer life, but was helpless in seeing any kind of true change. But then...
I came to the realization that I was trying to pray good prayers. I was striving to put together the words that would look the best in a prayer. Such was my fundamental mistake. In my thinking I had made a disconnect between talking with God and talking with people. I assumed that prayer was somehow different. Yet Christ Himself instructed us in the manner of prayer as praying unto our Father. Abba, daddy! And so I began to talk with God as I would talk with my closest friend or with my own earthly dad. In fact, our talks were so much sweeter than any kind of communication with another human, for I was talking with GOD! I could talk to Him about my greatest fears, my indescribable joys, my seemingly hopeless defeats, my victory that I experienced because of His Son. I could talk with Him about the mundane things of life and about the deep truths that I was learning from His very own Word. These times where I talk with God are the most precious moments of my life. He is my friend, but more than a friend. He is my Savior, my Life, my Father, my Lord, my God, my ALL.
As I type these words I have almost begun to cry, simply thinking about my talks with God. Today was the NTM (New Tribes Mission) Day of Prayer and so I spent some time alone today just talking (out loud) with my God. Sadly enough, I have not given time to God very much at all this semester, always blaming it on my busyness or the fact that I know I am in constant communication with Him at all times. But there is something about our 'talks' that are oh so sweet. I would even compare this to a human relationship. Sure I may talk all the time with my friend, but it our 'talks' that are the most valuable and most treasured parts of our relationship.
If you have not seen my write of the secret of an awesome prayer life, this is because I have not done so. I would almost say that there is actually no secret at all, yet I hesitate in regard to saying such a thing. For if most do not know the way of a matter, then is it not a secret if you yourself know? And so I would whisper to you this secret, trusting that you likewise would pass this whisper along. It is so delicate that it must only be mentioned in a whisper. The secret is thus: the depth of my prayer life is ALWAYS dependent on the depth of my relationship with God. I have seen it proven true in my own life; it was no matter of learning "how to pray" that transformed my prayer life, but it was deepening in my love and understanding of God that flowed naturally into a transformed prayer life.
I end with this. I have yet to find in the Scriptures any "how to do it" manuals on prayer, but I have seen men of God pray for people: that they would grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ, that they would grow in grace. We cannot talk with someone whom we do not know, so let us continue to learn more and more and more about our God. For such is our fate for all eternity: to grow in the knowledge of our God who is limitless and infinite. Ready to be joyously surprised by God forever? Let's pray