Just Talk To Me

by pastortimfowler

Copyrighted photo  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ithicuspictures/2852196227/

 

I had the privilege of sitting in on our Thursday night Lady’s Bible study last night. It is one of the perks that comes with being the pastor. The study was on how to have and effective prayer life and the discussions were interesting and thought-provoking. You would be amazed at how much women can talk when they get together.
When I was a new Christian I use to love listening to the old deacons of the church pray. They had the deep voice and spoke like they were from England only with a southern accent. They would say stuff like, Thou art holy and righteous and henceforth we must be cleansed of our unrighteousness and go hither to over yonder, thus saith the Lord for ever and ever Amen, or something like that. It sounded good and for the longest time I was obsessed with reading Shakespeare and the King James Bible so that I could pray like that.
As I read the Bible more and more I got the feeling that I was not getting this prayer thing right. God was talking to me through His word, and if I did not use the KJV I could get some plain English from God, and, I never really understood why God wanted to talk like that to begin with. The guys that Jesus chose to follow Him back then did not talk to Him like He was in a stage production. They just had a conversation with Him. They would talk, He would listen, then respond and so forth, hither to…(LOL). I got to thinking that maybe our prayers that we hear so much in church are not as much talking to God as they were a speech for others to hear.
It was about 15 years ago that I heard this man praying at a conference that I think I started wanting to quit giving speeches and start talking to God. It happened a couple of times before I got it, but he would start praying and it sounded as if he had just quit talking to the audience and started talking to someone else, God. I did not even catch the fact that he was praying until I looked and saw that he had bowed his head. Then I realized that was how I spoke to my wife, with head bowed in reverence, and he must be talking to God. So I started trying to talk and not sound different. It as hard, but something about it felt good.
Later, like about 2 years ago, I learned another really cool thing about prayer from someone else who prayed different from the rest of us, my grandson Nicholas. He would just switch gears and talk to God as if He was right there in the room with us. Once he heard me tell my wife, with my head bowed, that my back hurts and I wished it would stop because the next day I had something to do that hurt backs did not mix well with. Nicholas looked at me and asked if he should pray for me. I said sure, and he did. “Jesus. You heard that Papa’s back is hurting and tomorrow he needs it to feel better, so when he wakes up, please make it feel better. I will be sleeping in Mimi’s bed and he will be on the couch, that way you will know where his back is. Thanks” Then he continues talking to everyone else in the room. I am glad he told God where I would be that night because strangely enough my back felt better the next morning. I have heard him pray about any number of things and it always seems as if he is talking to someone right there with him. Maybe that is because God is always right there with us and not sitting up in heaven waiting for us to sound all holy and old.
For a Christian we are told that God is our Heavenly Father and we have been given the right to call Him Daddy. The only time I ever talked to my dad with Victorian English I think I remember getting whacked and told not to be a smart a–. Most of my conversations with dad were right there, right now and real. I talked perfect southern English, much like I do today, and dad understood and responded like a dad should.
God wants us to pray. Prayer is modeled in the Bible over and over. Most of it is a man of woman talking to someone they love. It was not in Victorian English or any other English, it was translated from the language of that day. I think that when we are told to pray without ceasing and to pray about everything, God is saying…Just talk to me.

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3 Comments to “Just Talk To Me”

  1. Hi Pastor Tim – it’s Sue in England – remember me?? Just before I read your post a month back I had been asked to take the intercessionay prayers for our pain group at St John’s and I felt daunted – I wanted so much to say that I could not do it. The reason why is that all my life (I am nearly 60) is that in my relationship to God – we just chat. In fact we chat all the time – no organisation, no thees or thous, just a conversation with a trusted friend and somehow I didn’t think that was suitable or respectful to offer prayers in that way on behalf of other people. I didn’t feel worthy enough to be entrusted with such a task. Well, last night was the meeting, and there I was leading the prayers. I started by telling them the story of how God had had to ‘go global’ on the internet in his effort to make me do what he wanted. You see I learned that it doesn’t matter whose voice or how those prayers are said God is always there to listen and he will always reply – it may not always be in the way we recognise or want but it will always be in the way we need to continue our spiritual journey. It was a wonderful evening and everyone liked the prayers – it felt so uplifting. So I really appreciate your Grandson’s approach. The truth of God’s love is not in the bad things that happen to us but in his promise that when they do he will be right there beside us every step of the way. God Bless – Best wishes Sue PS I think I will stick to tea served English style, thanks!

  2. Thanks Sue.

  3. Children keep it real. We could learn a lot from the little tykes, if we’d learn to listen….just as we’d learn a lot from God, if we’d learn to listen.

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