Sometimes it is good just to “be” with God without having to find words to express what’s in our hearts, and other times words are needed. Both ways of communication are called “Prayer.” But what is prayer, anyway?
It’s really very simple. Prayer is talking with God, sometimes with words, and sometimes without them. Most of the time we think of prayer as using words, and that’s what I’m referring to now.
Prayer has sometimes been made very complicated. For instance, when I was a child it was common to hear people praying with words like “thee,” “thou,” and “art.” But that made prayer an exclusive language where only the initiated could participate. Plus, it makes God seem very far away. And so He is. But He is also very, very close. God is both.
God is the King of the universe. He set this world in motion, and created everything on it. He made tiny electrons and neutrons which we cannot see with our eyes, and I understand there are even smaller particles than these. And He also made galaxies so big that our minds cannot comprehend them. So God is not confined to our house, or our living rooms.
On the other hand, God is nearer to us than anyone else. He sees every tear we shed, He sees every burden we carry. Our trials, our victories, our joys – God knows every one. He is our heavenly Father, our Best Friend.
So when we talk with Him, we come to Him with the respect He deserves, but we also come to Him as a Friend to whom we can share anything. We might as well, because he certainly knows it anyway! Then, why talk to Him, if He knows it anyway?
Primarily for relationship. This is what God is all about – relationship. We do not have relationships with people we don’t talk with, or at least write to. Not close ones, anyway. A husband and wife, or close friends, must talk together in order for intimacy to take place.
Another reason to talk with God is the same as when we talk with friends. As we verbalize what’s going on in our lives, we often get a fresh perspective. I joke with my friends (after I’ve gone on and on to them about something) that I “think with my mouth!” And it’s true! The more I talk about something, the more clear it becomes in my mind.
Something we often forget when we pray is that God wants to speak back. As we share with Him our day, our feelings, our dreams and ideas, He will often put thoughts into our minds. These thoughts may be of something we’ve forgotten, or of a friend that needs an encouraging word. It may be something that we’ve done against God or someone else that we need to make right. Whatever God speaks to us about, we can be sure that it will line up with what He says in Scripture.
Can you think of more reasons to talk with God?