“You need to pray about that. See what the Lord is telling you,” I said one day.
“I can’t do that,” my friend said.
“I don’t know how to pray. I’d feel foolish. What if God doesn’t like what I say, or how I say it?”
What if, indeed? How many of us have felt that very same way, especially when we’re just starting out in our prayer life?
Prayer is a conversation with the Lord. It’s not a stilted, uneasy litany of words you have to say in a certain order before you tell Him your situation and ask Him for what you really need. Or should I say want? After all, what we think we need may not always be what the Lord KNOWS we need! Which is why many times we don’t think He’s listening to us. We just think our prayers aren’t being heard, because we aren’t praying correctly.
There’s a line in a country song I’ve heard many times in which the dad heard his 4 year old son praying. “He was talking to God like he was talking to a friend!”
Well that’s the way it should be.
Yes, God is the Lord over all of the universe. We know that. But He also loves each and every one of us, just as a father loves his children unconditionally. And unlike some earthly misguided parents, He will never turn His back on us and walk away.
He’s not only our father; he’s our friend. And as our friend…in fact our BEST friend…He wants to have a conversation with us. He wants to hear about our life. He wants to hear our thoughts and fears; our ups and downs. He wants to console us and guide us. He wants to answer our questions and open doors for us that need to be opened. And prevent us from going into situations where we can be hurt.
Isn’t that what your best friend would do for you?
Philippians 4:6 …Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
So why are we afraid to talk to Him? Because that’s really what prayer is supposed to be. Talking to the Lord, having a conversation with Him. Friend to friend. Because He wants to hear from you. And by talking with Him, praying to Him, you give Him permission to act on your behalf.
It may be difficult at first, especially if you’ve been taught most of your life that you have to pray a certain way and only a certain way. That we have to say certain things before He’ll even start to listen to us. That’s not how it is.
The Lord listens to a child’s prayer who just talks to Him like a friend. Like we used to do until our adult selves told us otherwise.
It’s time to return to that simple way of prayer. Time to talk to the Lord in our own words; not in other people’s words.
Have a simple conversation with Him. It’s actually easier than you think. You don’t have to close your eyes. You don’t have to get on your knees. You don’t have to be in s certain place; you can pray in your car, in the shower, when you’re shopping; whenever and wherever you need or want to. You can talk to Him out loud, or even better, just talk with your heart. Because He hears you. And He answers.
So what did I tell my friend who said she didn’t know how to pray? I just told her. And I told you, too.
The Lord is waiting to have a conversation with you. And there’s never a better time than right now.