God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt.”’ Exodus 3:14-16 (Read Exodus 3 to learn about the whole conversation)
Can you imagine a friendship or a partnership or a marriage with no conversation? Or imagine two lovers trying to develop a deep relationship when they only see each other for an hour a week and even then only one of them speaks in a sort of strange formal language. Not a chance! No conversation means no relationship!
Yet many Christians think that a relationship with God is OK without a conversation! Prayer is all about relationship. It’s a conversation between the lover and the loved. In a good conversation, everyone involved gets to speak, to ask questions or to express ideas; a good conversation should move along and not simply go around in circles.
However, for so many people prayer is anything but a conversation — many Christians feel hopeless about prayer because it doesn’t seem do anything or go anywhere. But we seem to be missing a point here…
Prayer IS a conversation; but not primarily about us. It is about God, about finding Him, seeking His heart, His desires and above all learning His will.
In Isaiah 55:6 we are encouraged to “seek the Lord while He may be found,” which does not mean God is leaving for a vacation soon — it means while we are ready to obey. In Psalm 34:4 we read “I sought the Lord and He answered me.” In other words, I wanted to know what God thought before I told Him what I wanted!
Sometimes prayer can simply be a way to let off steam at God. It is perfectly acceptable to tell God exactly how we feel. He is big enough to take it. But then don’t be surprised if God also wants to tell us how he feels. That’s the point of a conversation. Exodus Chapter 3 is the start of a long conversation between Moses and God. Indeed, Moses complains and tries to avoid the issues at the beginning, yet it was the start of a conversation that changed history.
Prayer can change the way we see things, particularly when we pray for someone who has hurt us or when we admit our weaknesses. God knows what we are really like and yet still loves us.
Prayer can do a lot, but only when we are prepared to hear, listen and wait rather than talk the whole time and leave once we get to “amen”; repeat lists of requests; or worse still, not say anything at all.
As with all relationships we can only learn about someone when we let them talk to us and when we talk with them. Forget trying to “pray” for a while and just talk with and listen to God.
Let us set up a conversation with God by:
- Declaring that He is the I AM God. Thank Him for His desires to have an ongoing conversation and relationship with you.
- Asking Him to keep teaching you how to pray and develop intimacy with Him.