Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Do you remember getting the little boxes of conversation hearts for Valentine's Day when you were a kid? I remember getting them from friends at school and reading with amusement all of the little sayings on them. They said cute little things like "Be Mine" or "U R Cute." Now they say things like "Text Me."
Anyway, these hearts got me to thinking about my prayer life. God doesn't want me to come to Him with trite little sayings and prayers, He wants all of me. It isn't the fancy language or jargon we use that matters to Him. It is what is in our hearts. When we speak to God from our hearts, we are having real conversation with Him. A lot of times my prayers are a stream of consciousness, whatever is going through my head at that moment kind of prayer. If I were to make conversation hearts for God they might say "Help!" or "Thank You" or "I Love You." Those are just quick things I say throughout the day and He knows my heart.
When I first heard Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we are to "Pray without ceasing," I didn't think it was possible. I figured monks can probably do that, but how could I possibly pray all the time? I have come to realize though, that what Paul meant was that our praying should be like breathing. We do it all the time, but we aren't conscious of it. Many times I find that I am carrying on these little conversations in my head just as I go throughout my day, talking to God. I don't have to be in a special prayer posture or some quiet place. I think that is what Paul meant. The "amen" is never truly an amen because in a few minutes I'm going to think of something else I need to tell Him about and the conversation will last through the whole day. There are times in my day that I set aside for quiet time with God, but it isn't like I set aside just 30 minutes to give to Him and then I go about my day. It doesn't work that way. I take God with me wherever I go. Silly as it may sound, there are times when I driving in the car by myself and I can picture Jesus sitting right in that front passenger seat right next to me. I just start talking out loud to him about things that are on my heart. To people on the outside, I probably look like I'm talking to myself, but I know that Jesus is right there with me, listening to my every word. Then I'll be quiet for a bit and drive in the quiet, listening for His voice. It can't always be a one sided conversation or I'll never hear what God wants me to hear. This has been something that I've had to train myself to do, driving in silence, that is. My instinct used to be to get in the car and turn on some music. I do some of that too, but those quiet moments alone with God are precious. If you are a mom, you know that quiet time is at a premium, so you have to take it when you can get it. Now that the kids are in school, I have a little more time than I used to and I do appreciate that time more and more.
How's your conversation with God?