As a parent, I have experienced different stages of conversation with our son over the years. I began speaking to him before he was even born. In the first few years, he communicated his wants and needs in various ways. (It is so much fun to experience this stage of innocence that is trusting and always learning with such eagerness.)
We went through the “non-stop talk” elementary school years, to the silent “reflective” pre-teen periods, the “selective” teen conversations, and currently the "life is busy quick blast of need to know basis only information” is the norm. I totally understand.
So just spending time with him is most precious to me, but conversation-wise, those early years helping our son learn and grow in wisdom and unconditional love are treasured.
With that said, which stage is your current prayer life with God?
Maybe, the question should be, “What is the purpose of prayer?”
To get our needs met or to pray for others? These are all good things and necessary, but consider this, what did Adam and Eve have need of? No hunger, sickness or lost souls in the Garden of Eden.
Yet, Genesis 3:8 declares that God sought out Adam and his wife in the cool of the evening to spend time with them.
I remember one morning years ago driving down Highway 288 near Lake Jackson, I started out thinking about the Lord, talking with Him and singing to Him, but somewhere my thoughts were misdirected to errands I needed to run. My brow furrowed as I began to feel a little anxious because of time constraints on the day.
Pretty soon, I had drifted away lost in thought.
Suddenly, in my spirit I heard my Heavenly Father call out from what seemed a great distance, “Adaaaam, where are you?” His voice was so strong yet sweet, even playful.
I laughed and answered, “Lord, here I am.”
The main purpose of prayer is connecting with God, loving Him and having a two-way heart-to-heart conversation. My main purpose is to be near Him, and most often I find Him when I’m reading the Bible.
God does not want model prayers. How would we react if our children had walked in the room, sat down and said, “Oh father/mother how art thou? Please find it in your heart to feed me today, please provide all of my needs. And I don’t need new shoes, just go to the trash pile and find any old pair, that will do.”
I remember the first time I ran to Him (in the spirit) with open arms and cried out “Papa God!!”
It was the night I was born again, December 1996, when I went from an orphan to a child of God, free to love Him.
(Like a child. Childlike faith. Childlike prayers.)
And here is a thought, what if your children simply sat at the dinner table every night and chanted the same thing over and over?
You would probably think they had lost their mind.
God wants our hearts. Not repetition. And we all have fallen into that at one time or another. Religious habits. All kinds. (Again, I have.) Some came from the traditions of my upbringing, some I made up along the way.
Prayer is communion with God, all day, constant two-way communication with Father God. The Lord is speaking to us all day, and we can learn to recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd.
The best experiences are when I just talk to the Lord like a good friend and let Him father me.
But the only way to the Father is by His Son Christ Jesus, know the Son, know the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit become one with Him.
There is so much more that can be discussed on the subject of prayer, but space is limited. Here are just two of the verses that still speak volumes to me about God’s heart.
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Psalms 100:4
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Matthew 6:7
Contact Brenda Groves at firstname.lastname@example.org