Ever since my boys began going to school on the Front Range, I text or talk to them every morning on the phone. Recently, the conversation between my youngest and I hit a snag, and it reminded me again that prayer is a conversation.
Last week, his cell phone went a little wacky. Whenever he called me, I could not hear his voice. He heard me just fine, but I could not hear him.
After about the third day of that mess, I said to him (I think), “You know, Matt, this is parent heaven. I can lecture you to my heart’s content, and you can’t respond.” I thought I was pretty funny, and fortunately I couldn’t hear his response.
In the short term we solved the problem by either texting or he borrowed a phone and used that for our morning chitchats. Now, finally, his phone is working again. But all the trouble started me thinking.
I don’t know about you, but all too often my prayer life is a one sided lecture, rather than a conversation with the Lord. I talk and talk and talk and don’t take time to listen. It has nothing to do with faulty technology, or the fact that the Lord is not speaking.
In the perfect prayer that our Savior taught us, he commanded us to pray “Thy will be done.” How can we know the will of God if all we do is talk at God?
It is the rare believer, and usually on rare occasions that we can actually hear the voice from heaven like hearing a person on the other end of phone line. We “hear” God’s voice in gentle nudges of our spirits. We “hear” God through feelings and intuitions. We “hear” God through the voice of other believers.
Like Matt having to text or borrow a phone to talk to me, sometime in our prayer lives, we need to do something a little different in order to help us hear the voice of God. Pray at a different time or in a different place than usual. Try something new in prayer or journal.
Prayer is a conversation. This is what the Psalmist wants us to remember in Psalm 95:6-7. “O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. O that today you would listen to His voice!”
Steve Nofel is co-pastor at Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church in Cortez