I Blog For Books

13 July 2010

Conversations with God

Last week, I needed to run to Montgomery and didn't want to go by myself. I decided to pick up the phone and call one of my best friends, my cousin Michelle, to see if she wanted to come along for the ride. She agreed, and we set off. What a day. We ended up spending less than an hour in Montgomery, but the conversation we shared made the trip not only fly by, but much more enjoyable!

The old saying goes "You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family." If you're fortunate, sometimes they are one and the same. Who better to understand the dynamics that you deal with on a daily basis than someone who was raised like you were, and who knows everyone involved? The ins and outs of family life are sometimes difficult to explain when you have to stop and continually clarify just who it is you are speaking of! When you are with family (genetic or otherwise ... sometimes blood has nothing to do with it), the conversation can flow like a river. We talked for miles.

Think about the most recent conversation you had, and how it went. Did it flow with ease, or were you struggling through awkward silences or disjointed explanations? Transition from that conversation to your last conversation with God. When was your last conversation with God? How did that go? Was it a laundry list or a time of open reflection?

Webster online offers several definitions of the word prayer, all similar. Most common? "The act of communicating with a deity, especially a supplication addressed to God." Well, then, what is supplication? Humble and earnest prayer. Note the defining words: humble and earnest. When I speak with God, do I humble myself before him? Am I sincere? Many of my prayers could almost be tweets. (No, I don't do Twitter.) Short supplications, if you will. What struck me most when reading through the definitions of prayer were the defining paragraphs further down on the page.

Biblical references to prayer are many, varied, and striking in their simplicity. Exodus 32:11 refers to prayer as "beseeching the Lord," while 1 Samuel 1:15 calls it "pouring out the soul before the Lord." 2 Chronicles 32:20 refers to "crying to heaven," but Psalms 73:28 refers to "drawing nearer to God." Hebrews 10:22 reminds us that prayer must be sincere. When we speak to God, regardless of the venue or delivery, remember that He is God. Pray with openness and trust. Sometimes I think the hardest thing to remember is that the answer we think we want is not at all in God's plan for us.

God, I thank you for the blessing of family and friends that I have been given. I thank you for the gift of living in a country that allows me to express my love for you without fear of retribution. I pray that those who do not have such freedom are touched by your mercy. May I never forget who guides my days and protects my nights. Help me to remember that your time and my time are not always the same, that you know what is best for me, and open my soul that I may better hear your voice.

"Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"~1 Chronicles 17:16 NIV

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